A coalition of Minnesota law enforcement groups sued Friday over a recently enacted law that changed the standard for justified use of deadly force by police.
Their lawsuit challenges a 2020 law on the grounds it would violate an officer’s constitutional right against self incrimination. The law went into effect this March.
Efforts to either redo the law again or pause it failed to advance in the now-concluded special session.
The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and Law Enforcement Labor Services filed the lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court. Gov. Tim Walz and the state are named as defendants.
The new law narrowed the conditions for when lethal force is deemed appropriate and depends on an officer articulating an imminent threat.
More and more in critical incidents, officers involved are declining to sit for questions with investigators. The new law could have been construed to compel some kind of official statement from officers during investigations, which would clash with their right to stay quiet if they choose, MPR News reports.
House Public Safety Chair Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, was involved in crafting the standard. He said the same police groups now suing were involved in writing the law.
The Legislature is expected to return to the debate in the 2022 session. The court case could take many months or longer to resolve.