The Hennepin County (MN) Attorney’s Office is changing its policy on cases where someone spits on a law enforcement officer. Under a new policy, anyone accused of spitting on an officer’s uniform or boots will not be prosecuted by Hennepin County.
It’s written in Minnesota law that anyone who “intentionally throws or otherwise transfers bodily fluids or feces at an officer” is guilty of a felony.
However, Hennepin County is now only prosecuting felony cases when a person spits on an officer’s hands or face, WCCO reports.
“We think the harm caused by spitting on the boot or uniform does not rise to the level of spitting on the face or hands,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
The change in policy prompted the following statement from the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association:
“It’s ridiculous the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office will not uphold state law and not prosecute felony-level assault. Just as violent crimes in our communities are increasing, physical assaults of law enforcement officers are also increasing. This decision is also bizarre and reckless considering the global pandemic.”