Senate Passes Officer Training Legislation

On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Senate quickly took up and passed Officer Training Legislation that would require police officers to undergo training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, and mental health screenings following national protests sparked by the recent death of an African American man by a white police officer.

SB 945, which would take effect in 2022, would require all incoming law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, and mental health screening as part of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards certification requirements. The bill also includes a requirement for continuing education.

The Senate passed the bill 38-0 just hours after the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee reported the bill unanimously.

The introduction of the bill came at about the same time as the first reports of the death of George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis who was killed by a white police officer. Mr. Floyd was filmed in custody being restrained by a white officer who used his knee to pin Mr. Floyd by the neck until he died after pleading to be allowed to breathe.

Mr. Floyd’s death has sparked protests across Michigan and the country over what African Americans and others have pointed to as the most recent in a string of acts of police brutality against people of color.

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