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Mpls cops no longer allowed to attend 'warrior' training programs

"Fear-based" seminars are now prohibited for cops both on- and off-duty.

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is officially banning "extracurricular" training programs reportedly aimed at bringing out a cop's inner warrior.

The decision comes from the very top, with Mayor Jacob Frey announcing on Thursday that the city's officers are now prohibited from attending such "fear-based training":

Frey says MPD "will become the 1st major department that we know of" to take this stance on external training programs. 

What's more, any officers who want to attend any external training that focuses on "use-of-force" will have to get permission from Chief Medaria Arradondo himself, Frey says.

So, what exactly are these programs, and what do they teach?

One example Frey gives in his tweets is "Killology" — the name of a self-described research group interested in "the scholarly study of the destructive act," according to its website. 

Led by retired army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, the group gives seminars such as "Bulletproof Warrior," which had been attended by the St. Anthony cop that shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop in 2016. 

Grossman is the subject of a great deal of criticism for his teachings and training programs; nonetheless, he's become "a luminary to many in law enforcement" and has achieved "semi-celebrity status," according to the left-leaning news magazine Mother Jones. 

MPR says Mayor Frey has made it clear that seminars like Grossman's are prohibited for MPD officers not just while they're on duty, "which is already the case," but also while they're off duty.

This last point is generating some backlash, with Minneapolis police union leader Bob Kroll telling KARE 11 that it may be "illegal" for the city to ban officers from "any training during their off-duty hours."

He also told the station that Frey "misrepresented the training" in his announcement, and defended it as "not truly 'fear-based' training." 

The decision follows a number of high-profile police-involved shootings not just across the country but also in Minneapolis, including those that led to the deaths of Justine Damond, Thurman Blevins and Jamar Clark. 

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