Melissa Segura at BuzzFeed News:
More than a year before a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned George Floyd to the ground in a knee chokehold, Mayor Jacob Frey banned “warrior” training for the city’s police force.
Private trainers across the country host seminars, frequently at taxpayer expense, teaching “killology” and pushing the notion that if officers aren’t willing to “snuff out a life” then they should “consider another line of work.” Frey explained that this type of training — which has accompanied the increasing militarization of the police over the last few decades — undermined the community-based policing he wanted the city to adopt after a string of high-profile killings in the region.
But then the police union stepped in.
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis worked out a deal with a company to offer warrior training. For free. For as long as Frey was mayor.
Like in Minneapolis, police unions across the country have bucked reforms meant to promote transparency and racial equity in law enforcement. Many of these unions have pushed collective bargaining agreements that make it all but impossible for departments to punish, much less fire, officers. These agreements defang civilian review boards and police internal affairs departments, and they even prevent police chiefs from providing meaningful oversight, according to community activists and civil rights lawyers. Meanwhile, the unions have set up legal slush funds to defend officers sued for misconduct.