Police safety measures changing in wake of Baton Rouge shooting

- Attacks against police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge have stunned communities across the country. The violence is compelling police departments to change safety measures.

Minneapolis Police Chief Jenee Harteau has ordered her officers not to patrol alone anymore, requiring two officers per squad car.

This move comes as everyday citizens seek understanding to put an end to all senseless killing.

At the Minnesota State Fair Grounds entrance, on Larpenter near Fry where Philando Castile was shot and killed, Victor Toso, a Falcon Heights resident, watches over the growing memorial for the 32-year-old.

“We’ve had a lot of last straws," said Toso. "What was unique about this was the live streaming and the absolute clarity to any common sensible person was that this was way offline."

Toso did not know Castile personally, but says he mans the memorial as a way to address his own “unconscious bias.” Bias he believes everyone suffers from and needs to confront somehow.

“Being of Christian background to me that that makes [Philando Castile] kind of continuing in the act of Christ, he’s given himself for something here. How can we make sure that doesn’t go away?” asked Toso pointing at the flowers, posters and candles left for Castile.

The site is also where Toso reflects on the subsequent killings of officers in Dallas last week and Sunday in Baton Rouge.

“I’m frustrated, but I understand that what’s going on is a certain pent up anger that nothing changes,” said Toso.

Just a few miles from Castile’s memorial, Roseville Police were on patrol at Rosedale Mall Sunday.

“As a family we’re extremely saddened about the death of three brother officers today,” Lt. Lorne Rosand told FOX 9.

Black Lives Matter St. Paul was scheduled to protest Castile’s killing at Rosedale Mall Sunday, but canceled once they achieved economic impact, when stores began closing in light of protest plans.

“It’s not just Roseville, it’s every department in the nation looking out for themselves and taking additional precaution,” said Rosand of the tensions officer killings have created.

Minneapolis Police Sgt. Catherine Michal affirmed much of the same Sunday.

“It’s very sad to see that people in this country want to attack police officers who are out there to protect and save them, and help them when they’re in need. Now we have to be watching our backs and protecting ourselves so we can then protect you,” Michal said.

Michal’s badge remains covered in honor of the officers lost as flowers at Castile’s memorial wilt amid so many unanswered questions.

“We’ve had black people giving their lives for this country for hundreds of years now, what’s it going to take?” asked Toso. “I blame a system that somehow hasn’t found the answer to its real deep core.”

FOX 9 did reach out to Black Lives Matter St. Paul Sunday for reaction to officer killings in Baton Rouge. Rashad Turner responded simply, “no comment.”

Meanwhile, officers across the state are asked to be extra careful on every call they go on even routine calls in the wake of recent officer shootings.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories