Minneapolis Votes on Future of Public Safety

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Voters in Minneapolis will determine the future of policing and public safety in the first major election since George Floyd was killed.

Georgia Fort reports:

Tuesday marks the first major election in Minneapolis since George Floyd was killed. Voters will determine the future of policing and public safety with a historic vote on the charter amendment. While policing continues to be a prominent issue, the increase in deadly gun violence has made it difficult for community leaders to agree on ways to move forward.

Voting Yes on question 2 would agree to replacing the police department with a department of public safety. If passed, a commissioner would be appointed within 30 days and the city council would have oversight of the department… which is why Civil Rights Attorney and Minneapolis Resident Nekima Levy Armstrong says she’s voting no.

“I am concerned we are going to put ourselves in a worse situation than what we are already in,” said Armstrong at a recent debate. Although voting “no” doesn’t provide the immediate change of replacing the police department, she said it also doesn’t mean she’s content with MPD.

“I want to see MPD completely overhauled,” she said. “I want to see a robust system of police oversight.”

JaNae Bates, communications director of Yes 4 Minneapolis, said police prevention programs are limited and having a public safety department would create more resources to tackle gun violence.

“To be able to finally have some preventive and intervention measures that are part of a comprehensive department,” Bates said. “That means we can start to tackle big things like violence in community and gun violence prevention, something police officers will say is not a part of their work.”

Also on the ballot are yes or no questions on rent control and government structure. You can find a comprehensive bipartisan guide for St. Paul and Minneapolis at blackvotesmattermn.com.

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