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S.F. No. 1256 - Requiring Best Practice Law Enforcement Policies for Eyewitness Identifications (as amended by SCS1256A-2 Delete-Everything Amendment)
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
Prepared By: Chris Turner, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-4350)
Date: February 18, 2020


The bill requires the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to develop, and law enforcement agencies to adopt, policies on eyewitness identification.

Section 1, subdivision 1.  Statewide model policy required.

Directs the POST Board to develop a model policy by November 1, 2020, that articulates best practices for eyewitness identification.  The policy must require that:

  1. the person administering a lineup be unaware of the suspect’s identity, or if that is not practical, that the administrator use a photographic lineup and be prevented from seeing which member of the lineup is being viewed at a given time;
  2. the witness be instructed that the perpetrator may or may not be in the lineup;
  3. nonsuspect “fillers” used in the lineup be substantially similar to the description of the suspect; and
  4. after identification is made, the witness provide a statement that articulates the level of confidence in the identification.

Subdivision 2. Agency policies required.

Requires chief law enforcement officers to adopt and implement a written policy on eyewitness identification that is identical or substantially similar to the policy developed under subdivision 1.  The policy must be adopted by February 1, 2021.

Subdivision 3.  Admissibility of evidence not impacted.

Clarifies that the bill does not affect the admissibility of relevant evidence or the constitutional standards governing evidence admissibility.

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