How training and equipment influence police encounters

A woman holds up dog tags while talking to National Guard members.
Samantha Pree-Stenson speaks passionately to National Guard members while holding up dog tags of Black, brown, and Indigenous soldiers who lost their lives, on the day of opening statements in the trial of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis Monday, March 29, 2021.
Nicole Neri for MPR News

Concrete barricades, fencing and extra law enforcement were deployed across the Twin Cities in anticipation of protests during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Their presence was part of a multi-agency program called “Operation Safety Net” that drew national criticism for its use of rubber bullets, chemical irritants and physical force on protesters and journalists alike. 

That type of response to protests was also seen last summer across the country following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Excessive use of force during protests is just one part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s newly announced probe into the Minneapolis Police Department.

At 9 a.m. Friday, a researcher and the St. Paul police chief joined host Kerri Miller to discuss how police training and military-grade equipment influence the way local law enforcement think about and interact with the public.


  • Rashawn Ray is a fellow at The Brookings Institution and a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

  • Todd Axtell is chief of the St. Paul police department.

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