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SF 134

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 06/21/2017 11:31am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.



Version List Authors and Status

Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to public safety; requiring that certain peace officer-initiated use of force
cases be prosecuted by a special prosecutor; establishing the Board of Special
Prosecution and a special prosecutorial office; prohibiting the use of grand juries
in certain peace officer-initiated use of force cases; appropriating money; proposing
coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 626B.


Section 1.


Subdivision 1.

Terms defined.

As used in this chapter, the terms defined in this section
have the meanings given them.

Subd. 2.


"Board" means the Board of Special Prosecution.

Subd. 3.

Deadly force.

"Deadly force" has the meaning given in section 609.066,
subdivision 1.

Subd. 4.

Great bodily harm.

"Great bodily harm" means bodily injury that creates a
high probability of death, or causes serious permanent disfigurement, or causes a permanent
or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Subd. 5.

Law enforcement agency.

"Law enforcement agency" has the meaning given
in section 626.84, subdivision 1, paragraph (f).

Subd. 6.

Officer-involved incident.

"Officer-involved incident" means the use of deadly
force by a peace officer while the officer is on duty or off duty but performing activities
that are within the scope of the officer's law enforcement duties that results in great bodily
harm or death of another.

Subd. 7.

Peace officer.

"Peace officer" has the meaning given in section 626.84,
subdivision 1, paragraph (c).

Sec. 2.


Subdivision 1.

Board established; members.

(a) The Board of Special Prosecution
consists of the following five members appointed by the governor:

(1) three public members, at least one of whom has been the subject of peace
officer-initiated use of force or has a close association with someone who has, and another
who is a person of color;

(2) a county or city attorney with experience prosecuting criminal offenses; and

(3) a peace officer.

(b) All members shall demonstrate an interest in and be supportive of maintaining a
high-quality, permanent, independent special prosecutorial office to investigate and prosecute
officer-involved incidents.

Subd. 2.

Board duties and responsibilities.

The board shall: (1) appoint an attorney
with sufficient prosecutorial experience to serve as state special prosecutor and establish
the prosecutor's compensation; (2) approve and recommend to the legislature a budget for
the board and the special prosecutorial office; (3) provide appropriate oversight and
supervision for the prosecutor and the office; and (4) make recommendations to the legislature
regarding changes in law relating to the responsibilities and jurisdiction of the prosecutor
and the office, and other related matters.

Subd. 3.

Meetings; chair.

The board shall meet at least annually and may meet as often
as necessary to fulfill its duties and responsibilities. The board shall elect a chair from among
its members.

Subd. 4.


Board members shall serve two-year terms. The initial terms of the
peace officer and the county or city attorney are one year.

Subd. 5.


In no event shall the board or its members interfere with the
discretion, judgment, or zealous advocacy of the state special prosecutor or other members
of the special prosecutorial office in their handling of individual cases within their

Subd. 6.

Workload; outside employment.

The board shall monitor the workload of
the state special prosecutor and other members of the special prosecutorial office. If the
board determines that a position need not be full time, the board shall adjust the individual's
compensation and working arrangements accordingly. If this occurs, the board may allow
the individual to work outside the scope of the office if doing so does not jeopardize the
integrity or the real or perceived independence of the office.

Sec. 3.


Subdivision 1.

Term; office.

The state special prosecutor's term is two years. The
prosecutor serves in the unclassified service and may be removed only for cause by the
board. The prosecutor shall direct the operation of the special prosecutorial office and,
subject to the approval of the board, may hire or retain other individuals to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of officer-involved incidents within the state.

Subd. 2.


(a) The state special prosecutor has sole prosecutorial jurisdiction
over officer-involved incidents in the state. In addition, upon written request of the governor
or a county attorney, the prosecutor shall prosecute, when appropriate, cases involving other
peace officer-initiated use of force.

(b) In situations described in paragraph (a), the prosecutor shall exercise the powers of
a county attorney.

(c) The prosecutor is subject to the same ethical standards as a county attorney. The
prosecutor shall prosecute only those cases that the prosecutor considers appropriate, based
on the prosecutor's professional judgment and experience.

Sec. 4.


If, after proper investigation, the state special prosecutor determines that a prosecution
is warranted in a peace officer-initiated use of force case, the prosecutor shall commence
the criminal action by complaint and not by indictment, regardless of the maximum
punishment for the offense.

Sec. 5.


To the extent of a conflict, the provisions in this chapter supersede contrary provisions
in sections 8.01, 388.051, and 388.12, and Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, rule
17.01, and any other conflicting provision in law or rule.

Sec. 6.


(a) A chief law enforcement officer of a law enforcement agency shall ensure that the
special prosecutorial office is notified when a peace officer employed by the agency is
involved in an officer-involved incident. If a county attorney is aware that an officer-involved
incident has occurred in the county, the attorney shall notify the office of this unless the
attorney knows that the office has already been notified.

(b) The notifications required in paragraph (a) must be made immediately.

(c) In addition, any other person may report a suspected officer-involved incident to the

Sec. 7.

[626B.07] REPORTING.

(a) If the state special prosecutor determines that a criminal charge is not warranted in
a case within the prosecutor's jurisdiction, the prosecutor shall issue a public report explaining
the reasons for the decision.

(b) By November 15 of each even-numbered year, the board shall submit a detailed
report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives
committees and divisions having jurisdiction over criminal justice policy and funding that
addresses the activities of the board, the state special prosecutor, and the special prosecutorial
office, along with any recommended changes in law as required in section 626B.02,
subdivision 2.


The governor shall appoint members of the Board of Special Prosecution described in
section 2 by July 1, 2017, and ensure that the first meeting of the board is convened by July
15, 2017.


$....... from the general fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, is appropriated to
the commissioner of management and budget to implement this act.


Sections 1 to 8 are effective the day following final enactment. The provisions of section
3 relating to the jurisdiction of the state special prosecutor are effective September 1, 2017,
and apply to crimes committed on or after that date.

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