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POCI Caucus Statement on Public Safety and Judiciary Budget Bill

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

St. Paul, Minnesota — Today, Tuesday, June 29, the Minnesota House passed a Public Safety and Judiciary state budget. DFL POCI members negotiated until the very end with the Senate Republicans to add more police accountability measures to the bill. The negotiations led to the following outcome that makes progress to prevent more Minnesotans from dying at the hands of police.

The bill includes:

  • No Knock Warrant Regulations: Prevents an officer from seeking a “no-knock” warrant without an application. Prevents these warrants in drug possession-only offenses.
  • Sign & Release Warrants: In certain situations, police officers who pull over someone with a summons for court must inform them of the court date, have them sign a statement of acknowledgement, and release them without arrest.
  • Police Officer Misconduct Database: Expands information in the database to include private information about police officer misconduct.
  • Removes funding for body camera grant program without accountability policies attached.

The POCI Caucus is pleased that Governor Walz has committed to taking action on further police accountability measures. The Governor has promised the following: 

  • $15 million from American Rescue Plan funds to support community violence prevention grants.
  • Increased transparency and accountability at the POST Board.
  • Body camera footage available within five days for families whose members have been killed by law enforcement. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates deadly use of force by police officers, meaning families will not be stymied in receiving that critical information.

Many of these measures would not have been included if not for the dedicated work of POCI members Chair Carlos Mariani, Chair Jamie Becker-Finn, and Rep. Cedrick Frazier who stood up for our communities against a Republican Senate who would have preferred the status quo.

We realize there is much more work to do. The POCI Caucus is committed to more police accountability measures next year. The fight for true justice for Minnesotans, especially our BIPOC communities, is long, but we are making progress.

The House People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Esther Agbaje (59B), Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Cedrick Frazier (45A), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (Vice- Chair 62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Athena Hollins (66B), Fue Lee (59A), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), John Thompson (67A), Samantha Vang (Chair, 40B), Jay Xiong (67B), and Tou Xiong (53B

             

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