Can new rules for Minneapolis police improve interactions with community?

A person speaks during a news conference
Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero speaks during a press conference announcing the settlement agreement to overhaul Minneapolis police operations on Friday, March 31, 2023, in Minneapolis.
Jon Collins | MPR News

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights and the city of Minneapolis last month reached an agreement on how to overhaul the Minneapolis Police Department. A lot of hope is riding on the new legally-binding settlement. It marks the first time in Minnesota that a court will enforce specific changes in police operations.  

The agreement aims to reset the culture of the department after the murder of George Floyd. It follows a state investigation into the Minneapolis police that found a pattern of illegal and racist behavior in officers’ behavior.  

It covers a wide range of procedures from traffic stops to how officers use force. For example, officers will no longer be allowed to pull over a driver only for a broken taillight, stop and frisk someone just because they smell of marijuana. And there are new restrictions on when officers can use tear gas or another chemical irritant to control a crowd.   

But will these new requirements be enough to improve the way Minneapolis police officers interact with the people they serve?  

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MPR News host Angela Davis talks about what’s in the agreement and whether it will usher in real change.  

four people in a radio studio
MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Giovanni Veliz, Rebecca Lucero and Yohuru Williams about what’s in a new settlement agreement on how to overhaul the MPD and whether it will usher in real change.
Maja Beckstrom | MPR News


  • Rebecca Lucero is the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.  

  • Yohuru Williams is a professor of history and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas.  

  • Giovanni Veliz retired in January 2023 as a commander with the Minneapolis Police Department after serving 30 years.  

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Correction (April 20, 2023): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Minneapolis officers can no longer use chemical irritants to control a crowd. Officers can use tear gas and other chemical irritants, but under limited conditions, which include approval from the chief of police or the chief’s designee.