Police To Stop Low-Level Traffic Stops In Minneapolis Amid Police Reform

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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The Minneapolis, Minnesota, Police Department will no longer pull over motorists for “low-level” traffic violations in an effort to cut back on “pretextual stops” as well as preserve resources.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told officers in an internal memo that the move would prevent officers from pulling over motorists for small violations such as expired tabs, air freshener objects on the rearview mirror and not having a working license plate light, the Star Tribune reported Thursday.

Arradondo stated that the move was made to recognize “the continued importance” of how the department can “better utilize time, resources and operational effectiveness,” the Star Tribune reported.

The memo also stated that the city’s attorney office would no longer issue tickets for driving after suspension if the basis was that the driver was unable to pay a fine or fees, or if there was no accident or erratic driving that “would impact public safety,” the Star Tribune reported.

“This is a welcome development,” Teresa Nelson, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune, adding that it should also go “even further and expand it to all low-level violations” that don’t impact public safety.

A surge of officer retirements have plagued departments in major cities across the country, including Minneapolis, following the summer of 2020 mass protests and repeated pushes to defund departments. (RELATED: Brooklyn Center Mayor Says He Doesn’t Think Police Officers ‘Need To Necessarily Have Weapons Every Time They’re Making A Traffic Stop’)

A judge ordered the city of Minneapolis in July to hire more police officers after the council had unanimously voted to “defund” the department, but had only reduced the operating budget.

Minneapolis is also the most recent city to no longer conduct minor traffic stops, with Portland making a similar move in June, stating the move was “in the name of racial justice.”