Minneapolis, MN – Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has banned the city’s police force from participating in “fear-based, warrior-style” trainings, whether they are on or off duty.
Frey announced the prohibition during his State of the City address on Thursday, and boasted that Minneapolis is the first city in the country to completely ban such training for police officers, the Star Tribune reported.
Warrior-style trainings teach students to remain vigilant about their surroundings in order to identify and quickly react to potential threats to their lives and the lives of others.
Such trainings encourage officers to act decisively, and places a high value on officer survival above all else.
“When you’re conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build meaningful relationships with those same people,” Frey said, according to WCCO. “What fear-based training teaches is not inherent to the human psyche. It’s learned.”
Effective immediately, Minneapolis officers can no longer participate in so-called “fear-based training,” even on their own time, Frey declared.
“Chief Medaria Arradondo’s police department rests on trust, accountability and professional service,” he continued, according to the Star Tribune. “Whereas fear-based, warrior-style trainings like killology are in direct conflict with everything that our chief and I stand for in our police department.”
“Fear-based trainings violate the values at the very heart of community policing,” he alleged.
In addition to the ban, the city’s police officers will now be required to ask permission from department administrators before they attend any de-escalation or use-of-force trainings not conducted by the department, WCCO reported.
Critics began decrying “warrior” trainings in the wake of the justified officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by now-former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez as he reached for a gun during a traffic stop in 2016.
Officer Yanez told him several times not to reach for it, not to "pull it out,” dashcam footage showed.
Castile told Officer Yanez, "I don't have to reach for it," and reached in the area where the gun was, despite multiple commands not to.
Officer Yanez shot Castile after he ignored orders and reached towards his gun.
A jury acquitted Officer Yanez of all charges involving the shooting of Castile after 27 hours of deliberation. Shortly afterward, the city of St. Anthony announced that Officer Yanez would never be allowed to return to work.
“The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city. The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer,” the city said in a statement after the acquittal.
Police sources in the area told Blue Lives Matter that Officer Yanez agreed to resign after he learned that the department wouldn't allow him to return to work.
Officer Yanez attended a two-day seminar, “Bulletproof Warrior,” two years before the altercation with Castile, The New York Times reported.
The training focused on de-escalation techniques, as well as survival skills.
Students learned about “pre-attack indicators,” and the “anatomy of force incidents,” as well as “combat efficiency” and “perceptual distortions in combat,” The New York Times reported.
Critics also blasted instructors for showing actual clips of officers being attacked and wounded.
“Courses like this reinforce the thinking that everyone is out to get police officers,” Police Executive Research Forum executive director Chuck Wexler said dismissively. “This teaches officers, ‘If you hesitate, you could lose your life.’ It is the exact opposite of the way many police chiefs are going.”