ST. PAUL, MN — Minnesota is taking a new approach to address officer-involved shootings across the state.
The effort, announced Monday, comes after some controversial cases in recent years that have raised questions throughout communities.
“Talking about this issue is courageous,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says. “Of course, there will be critics on all sides, but what’s more important is that we come together as a community and figure out how we’re going to move forward.”
A 15-member work group, with representatives expanding throughout the state of Minnesota.
“We believe it is critical to reach out beyond the bounds of the metro and make sure that every part of our state is included in this critical conversation,” Ellison says.
Among them is St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin.
“Personally, I think I’ve about 9 or 10 reviews of officer-involved shootings even just since my election to county attorney,” Rubin says.
The group is being formed to map out the best practices through public hearings, online submissions and witness testimony.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this group,” Rubin says.
Work is set to begin this summer, and the group will later present their proposals to the state legislature.
“What proposals? I don’t know,” Ellison says. “We’re going to find out. The conversations that we will have will yield the prescriptions that will be offered.”
State officials say this is just the beginning.
“It will be the beginning of the real work of actually reducing police-involved deadly force encounters,” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington says.
A new push to combat the issues surrounding police shootings in our state.
“Our presence here today — as community, law enforcement, prosecution, everybody — signals an attitudinal shift that we cannot keep going from crisis to crisis to crisis,” Ellison says. “We’ve got to take a look at this and figure out what we’re going to do together.”
Duluth Police say state officials have reached out to Police Chief Mike Tusken about being part of the working group. Police say Tusken is in the beginning stages of trying to make that happen.