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Michigan Gov. Whitmer backs police changes after deaths of Floyd, others

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses members of the media and Midland County residents during a press conference at the temporary shelter at the school, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Midland, Mich. Whitmer spoke of response efforts to severe flooding caused by dam failures upstream of the Tittabawassee River. (Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News via AP)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses members of the media and Midland County residents during a press conference at the temporary shelter at the school, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Midland, Mich. Whitmer spoke of response efforts to severe flooding caused by dam failures upstream of the Tittabawassee River. (Katy Kildee/Midland Daily News via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Wednesday for policy changes to prevent police abuses following the killings of George Floyd and other black people, backing continuing education for officers in Michigan and legislation that would require training on implicit bias and deescalation techniques.

She also urged law enforcement agencies to implement policies so officers must intervene if they see a colleague doing something inappropriate or illegal.

In a statement, Whitmer said the deaths of Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky “were a result of hundreds of years of inequity and institutional racism against black Americans.” She urged police departments to toughen their training and policies, and said she will partner with the Legislature and law enforcement to enact police-related changes into law.

Whitmer did not immediately push for changes on the use of force, however.

“We recognize the shortcomings of the systems in place today — systems that have left black, Latino and other communities of color feeling underserved, even threatened by law enforcement,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, who is African American.