Voters in Minneapolis will decide whether to replace police in city charter with department of public safety workers.
Referendum on Banning Police
The first election in Minneapolis since the George Floyd killing is a Referendum on Ending the Police Force.
A ballot initiative would replace the police department in the city charter with a department of public safety that would take a public health approach to safety and include sworn peace officers if deemed necessary. The number of officers in the new department would no longer be set at a required level based on the city’s population. The plan would likely include more money for violence-prevention programs and the diversion of some police calls to social workers and others.
Despite calls from the city council to reimagine policing after Mr. Floyd’s killing in May 2020, activists say changes haven’t gone far enough. Crime has gone up and the police force has shrunk. Tuesday’s election will be the first time the voters will have a say in the future of Minneapolis since the upheaval began.
The ballot question has drawn big spending to the municipal election. Yes 4 Minneapolis, the group that wrote the ballot initiative, reported this week that it has raised $1.8 million this year, while All of Mpls, which opposes the initiative, said it has raised nearly $1.6 million.
In a poll sponsored by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, MPR News, KARE 11 and Frontline in September, 42% of the city’s Black residents supported the charter amendment, compared with 49% of voters overall. And 75% of Black voters wanted more police officers, not fewer, compared with 55% of voters overall.
If the poll is accurate, the bill will fail. Curiously, more whites than blacks support the measure.
That close to 50% support this absurd measure is a sure sign Minneapolis is a failed city.
Replacing police with "peace officers" whatever the hell that means is just plain nuts.
Meanwhile, police have been quitting in droves. In 2019 the Minneapolis police force was 853. Today the police force is 598, a reduction of 30%.
Crime, including homicides has soared. But hey. let's replace police with peace officers.
Part of me hopes this passes just to prove how stupid it is. But people's lives are at stake, so hopefully common sense prevails.
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