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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL)

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CALL TO ACTION, UBLC Statement, Mental Health

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Dear Neighbors, 

With anger and sadness, I write to you after another senseless killing of a Black man at the hands of police. Daunte Wright should be alive. He was a son and a father. He loved basketball and his community in Brooklyn Center. Daunte’s life mattered.

We cannot normalize waking up to a growing list of community members killed by law enforcement officers.

Last summer, we passed a number of reforms to police accountability, including a prohibition on “warrior training,” a ban on chokeholds, and requiring the duty to intercede when officers observe one of their colleagues engaging in misconduct. This bill was a compromise and did not go far enough-- many critical reforms such as enhanced citizen oversight and strengthening the police officer misconduct database were left off the table.

Since then, we have had 18 hearings in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee, the committee where members craft police accountability legislation. Some of the proposals in this year’s omnibus Public Safety bill include a measure to allow local governments to establish civilian oversight councils to oversee law enforcement, a ban on altering, erasing, or destroying body camera recordings, prohibiting peace officers from affiliating with white supremacist groups, and funding community organizations working to prevent crime. 

Other bills I’m hopeful to see advance include significant limitations on the use of “no-knock” warrants, a study on how Minnesota can move forward with requiring officers to carry liability insurance, and an “early warning” system for the POST Board to identify officers with concerning records. I am disappointed to see provisions to end qualified immunity were not included this year. Moving forward, I am committed to end this policy and support the leading voices in the House to enact urgent change in Minnesota. 

However, none of these efforts will become law without Republican Senators willing to sit at the table, listen to our community, and commit to keeping everyone, without exception, safe. We need your help to enact a public safety policy that holds police officers accountable, increases transparency, and serves justice. 

You can email Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka through the link below and demand effective policy to correct Minnesota’s law enforcement system.

 

CONTACT SENATOR PAUL GAZELKA

The Public Safety omnibus bill should not be controversial or even partisan. These are measures aiming to protect the lives of Minnesotans, not a political debate. 

STATEMENT: The United Black Legislative Caucus 

I am grateful for the leadership of the United Black Legislative Caucus and want to amplify an extremely important message they released Monday in the wake of Daunte Wright’s killing in Brooklyn Center. You can give it a read here or see below.

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More on the 2021 Public Safety & Criminal Justice Reform Budget Bill

Last week, House DFL lawmakers discussed their 2021 Public Safety & Criminal Justice Reform budget bill. The legislation invests in law enforcement, improves police accountability, and listens to the victims of sex crimes.

Minnesota is in urgent need of an effective and comprehensive public safety initiative that looks out for community members of all backgrounds. Holding law enforcement accountable and investing in the correction of oppressive systems is a public health issue. We need to make sure we deliver on the promises we made to keep Minnesotans safe and respond with urgency.

You can read more about the details of the bill here

Mental Health and Community Healing Resources

Our community has experienced an overwhelming amount of pain this year, and the ongoing Trial of Derek Chauvin has left many of us looking for mental health resources. The City of Minneapolis has compiled this list to find free and local support for you and your loved ones.


At this point in our legislative session, bills change and move rapidly. Community safety must be the legislature’s priority above all other budget negotiations. Please always feel free to reach out to me with your ideas or anything you might need.

It is my job to serve you.

Sincerely,

Sydney Jordan

State Representative

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