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20 recommendations in response to outside study of Minnesota's 2020 riot response

31 March 2022

Thursday’s release of an outside after-action review of Minnesota’s response to the 2020 unrest that followed George Floyd’s murder outlined 20 recommendations to better prepare and respond to large-scale protests and rioting.

1. State needs to develop unified system for multiple agencies to plan for civil unrest and better specify the chain of command.

2. Improve compliance with law enforcement standards and model policies so multiple agencies respond consistently to crowd management.

3. Keep riot gear and less-lethal munitions hidden from protesters unless officers are under imminent threat and intend to use those weapons against the crowd.

4. Determine conditions ahead of time that would require protesters’ arrests; differentiate between peaceful protesters and those engaging in illegal activities.

5. Plan ahead of time to prepare logistics and resources needed for a coordinated response to civil unrest.

6. Improve coordination between those responsible for intelligence gathering, law enforcement tactical operations and leadership at the multi-agency command center.

7. Improve coordination between law enforcement, local fire departments and emergency medical services to ensure first responders can safely respond to emergencies.

8. Offer training and guidance to local jurisdictions on when and how to request assistance from the Minnesota National Guard or other state agencies.

9. Improve public communication and press-related matters to avoid the spread of false information and better inform residents on how to safely protect their property.

10. Set up a joint information center and designate a public information officer for civil disturbances. Improve communication between state and local law enforcement, elected officials and the public.

11. Improve coordination and communication between law enforcement and the media to avoid cases of unlawfully detaining journalists.

12. Coordinate with community members directly affected by civil unrest, some of whom felt “abandoned” by law enforcement and perceived racism and discrimination in those gaps.

13. Work to build trust between law enforcement and communities — especially those affected by civil unrest — and acknowledge the root cases of civil unrest, such as poverty and unjust treatment of communities of color.

14. Engage communities in law enforcement oversight and accountability as part of efforts to reimagine policing and community safety.

15. Enhance diversity and inclusion efforts within law enforcement agencies to better reflect the communities they serve.

16. Support training of law enforcement officers to facilitate peaceful protests via “skillful negotiation and dialogue” and better crowd dispersal tactics.

17. Talk to protest groups and organizers before events.

18. “More deeply engage” with businesses and communities affected by civil unrest that face the most risk of future potential unrest.

19. Support law enforcement agencies in promoting mental health.

20. Improve after action documentation and reporting.

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