Report Recommendation 2.7

Create policies and procedures for policing mass demonstrations that employ a continuum of managed tactical resources designed to minimize the appearance of a military operation and avoid using provocative tactics and equipment that undermine civilian trust.

2.7 Create policies and procedures for policing mass demonstrations that employ a continuum of managed tactical resources designed to minimize the appearance of a military operation and avoid using provocative tactics and equipment that undermine civilian trust.

Established Practice

SPPD facilitates free speech

The Saint Paul Police Department is committed to becoming the best department in the state when responding to demonstrations. The department has a team of experts dedicated to helping individuals and communities make their voices heard.

As Saint Paul is the seat of state government, engaged and energetic people come here from across the state and country to make their voices heard. They gather in our city to demonstrate, protest and exercise their First Amendment rights, and the Saint Paul Police Department helps them do so safely, lawfully and effectively.

Chief Axtell established, in 2016, a unit dedicated to smart, responsive and democratic facilitation of First Amendment activity. This newly created unit continues to work with other police agencies throughout the state in determining best practices for protecting free speech. Throughout 2017, the police group designated for facilitating free speech protected dozens of peaceful demonstrations throughout the city. 

20 days in St. Paul: inside the weeks-long protest ...
MinnPost | Aug. 24, 2016

Reference Data:

2.7 Create policies and procedures for policing mass demonstrations that employ a continuum of managed tactical resources designed to minimize the appearance of a military operation and avoid using provocative tactics and equipment that undermine civilian trust.

Established Practice

SPPD facilitates free speech

The Saint Paul Police Department has managed mass demonstrations in ways that stage and employ resources to minimize the appearance of force. 

Reference Data:

2.7.1 Address procedures for implementing a layered response to mass demonstrations that prioritize de-escalation and a guardian mindset.

Established Practice

SPPD facilitates free speech

As demonstrated over the last several years of protest events throughout the City (including protests at the Governor’s Residence, along light-rail transit, at the State Fair, and at events like the Twin Cities Marathon and Crashed Ice) the Saint Paul Police Department employs a layered response and guardian mindset to facilitate protected expression. The department is committed to protecting and assisting all lawful demonstrations.

Reference Data:

2.7.1 Address procedures for implementing a layered response to mass demonstrations that prioritize de-escalation and a guardian mindset.

Established Practice

SPPD professionalizes its response through planning

The Saint Paul Police Department utilizes an extensive pre-deployment review involving non-police professionals to ensure deployments are constitutionally sound, community sensitive and community responsible.

Reference Data:

2.7.2 The Federal Government should create a mechanism for investigating complaints and issuing sanctions regarding the inappropriate use of equipment and tactics during mass demonstrations.

Not Applicable

SPPD Response

Not applicable for local law enforcement.

Reference Data:

Not Applicable