Our amendment would require police officers to purchase their own professional liability insurance but would allow the city to pay the base rate for that insurance if the city council chooses. However, any additional premium due to the number of complaints or lawsuits against the officer would be paid by that officer.
We consulted with many stakeholders as we developed the wording for this amendment. We asked these questions as we worked with insurance professionals, attorneys and others: Does this comply with Minnesota laws? Will this help and not hurt victims of police brutality and the attorneys who represent them? Will this help and not hurt good cops who don’t engage in misconduct? Does this leave any wiggle room for the city not to enforce it? We only went forward with our proposal when we were satisfied with the answers to these questions.
The wording of our amendment is below. The words in italics are our proposed changes.
We, the undersigned, petition the City of Minneapolis Charter Commission to implement/amend the City Charter to read as follows:
Section 7.3(a)(2) Police Officers. Each peace officer appointed in the police department must be licensed as required by law. Each such licensed officer may exercise any lawful power that a peace officer enjoys at common law or by general or special law, and may execute a warrant anywhere in the county. Each appointed police officer must provide proof of professional liability insurance coverage in the amount consistent with current limits under the statutory immunity provision of state law and must maintain continuous coverage throughout the course of employment as a police officer with the city. Such insurance must be the primary insurance for the officer and must include coverage for willful or malicious acts and acts outside the scope of the officer’s employment by the city. If the City Council desires, the city may reimburse officers for the base rate of this coverage but officers must be responsible for any additional costs due to personal or claims history. The city may not indemnify police officers against liability in any amount greater than required by State Statute unless the officer’s insurance is exhausted. This amendment shall take effect one year after passage.