MPD Centers The BIPOC Experience in Traffic Stops

Photo by Mark Guim

In the wake of widespread civil unrest, the Minneapolis Police Department has vowed to center the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) by increasing representation in needless traffic stops. 

“We feel that this is an important first step in rebuilding community trust,” said police spokesman John Elder during a press conference with Mayor Jacob Frey, “Representation matters and we want to uplift our BIPOC community by focusing on the systemic issues that affect them. Systems like broken taillights and failures to signal. We hope to be more inclusive of all low-level traffic violations and really hold space during these traffic stops for earnest conversation within Miranda guidelines.”

They also introduced new guidelines designed to ensure predatory police stops are as multicultural as possible. They include  beginning traffic stops with a land acknowledgment, adding officers’ gender pronouns on their badges, and adding a short mindfulness exercise to the field sobriety test. Additionally, Elder announced increased patrols on “diverse holidays” such as Juneteenth, Eid, and “all of the Asian Lunar New Years” with officers instructed to wish citizens a happy holiday during traffic stops as appropriate.

“This is an important day for our city,” added Mayor Frey as the press conference was concluding, “when I was elected Mayor, I promised to improve police and community relations. And nothing does that better than creating the opportunity for our BIPOC neighbors to have even more interactions with the police.”