Bloomberg Law
Aug. 6, 2020, 9:45 AM

Cops’ Legal Cover Is in Question as States Agonize Over Reforms

John Dunbar
John Dunbar
Investigations Editor
Andrew Wallender
Andrew Wallender

Before Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes, he had faced 17 complaints regarding his behavior with only one ending in any sort of disciplinary action—and that was a reprimand.

Chauvin was protected by Minnesota’s “Peace Officer Discipline Protection Act,” which provides special rights for cops accused of bad behavior.

Minnesota is one of at least 20 states with “law enforcement officers bill of rights” laws on the books, pushed by powerful police unions. Many were sponsored by former and—in at least one case—current police officers, and authors ...

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