Minneapolis Police Department Will Reduce Enforcing Low-Level Traffic Violations to Correct ‘Racial Disparities’


The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) will be reducing the enforcement of some low-level traffic violations which officials say will help address racial disparities. According to an internal memo from Police Chief Medaria Arradondo that was obtained by Bring Me The News, there are three main low-level violations that the Minneapolis Police Department will no longer enforce: “Expired tabs, an item dangling from a mirror, or not having a working license plate light.”

Arradondo said, “By prioritizing the more serious traffic violations and no longer conducting routine traffic stops on the lesser violations mentioned above where it’s the only offense, it will have minimal impact on current MPD traffic enforcement and can also help build trust with the communities we serve.” The city attorney’s office told Bring Me The News that they will also no longer be prosecuting individuals guilty of driving with suspended privileges, however that exception only applies if “the incident [leading to suspension] did not involve a crash or dangerous driving behavior.”

A city attorney, Jim Rowader, said in a statement that this change to Minneapolis’ policing is “just one small step in addressing the disparities around traffic stops while freeing up resources to focus on offenses that have a direct impact [on] public safety.” Rowader added, “Whenever a vehicle with expired tabs is stopped for speeding, red light running or any other public safety reason, the expired tabs charge can and should be added to the citation.”

Mayor Jacob Frey said in a tweet that, “We will soon end stops solely for offenses like expired tabs or items dangling from a mirror.”

As reported by the Star Tribune, Teresa Nelson, the legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota called on the Minneapolis Police Department to “go even further and expand it to all low-level violations that don’t affect public safety.” Nelson said that the low-level violations impact the poor in unfair ways. She said, “I think there’s a growing recognition in Minnesota and around the country that these kind of punitive policies are basically punishing for people for being poor.”

City Council member Steve Fletcher also voiced his support for the decision, saying, “I do think there’s some ways it will help some people from the fines that come with some of these low-level stops.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Chief Arradondo holds a press conference” by Minneapolis Police Department.



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One Thought to “Minneapolis Police Department Will Reduce Enforcing Low-Level Traffic Violations to Correct ‘Racial Disparities’”

  1. Steve Allen

    What a great idea. Because people of color can’t figure out how to safely drive a car, we’ll just stop pulling them over so we don’ hurt their feelings.