MN DPS Holds Listening Session in Bemidji On Police-Involved Deadly Encounters
60% of officer-involved deadly shootings happen in greater Minnesota and is one reason why Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington have been hosting community listening sessions on police-involved deadly encounters.
The two have been traveling and hosting community listening sessions on to gain a better understanding on what they can do on the topic. Tuesday’s listening session in Bemidji allowed community members to express their concerns, viewpoints and opinions as well as giving their own personal experience.
One recurring theme that officials have noticed during these sessions is that families want to know what resources families of an individual who is killed during this encounter receive.
“The other part is we’re discovering that there’s a difference in stability from greater Minnesota than there is in the Twin Cities. I think for many people in the Twin Cities, they see this as a us versus them [situation], and the conversation we’re having now has been much more about how do we as a community come together to try and solve this problem, how to reduce the number and the frequency of deadly force encounters, and also how do we start to begin the process of healing and building greater trust of police and the communities that they serve,” said Harrington.
January 6th will be the last hearing and will focus on community healing and will discuss how the community can rebuild trust and help families deal with loosing some in a police-involved encounter.