Today, May 25th marks one year after the brutal murder of George Floyd. His horrific death led millions across the country and globe to stand in solidarity against anti-Black rhetoric and continuous violence against Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
In response to George Floyd’s murder, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Minnesota Police Accountability Act to bring significant changes to policing and safety in our state. Measures passed and signed into law include prohibiting “warrior training,” a ban on chokeholds, arbitration reform, and requiring officers to intercede when they observe a fellow officer engaging in police misconduct. We reformed the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to require new training for officers and created an advisory council with citizen voices.
This past legislative session, I, along with my other House DFL colleagues, passed a Public Safety Omnibus bill that included provisions to change rules around no-knock warrants, allow local governments to create civilian oversight councils, ban police officers from affiliating with white supremacy organizations, limit certain traffic stops and much more which you can review here. The Minnesota Senate GOP has refused to pass this same bill resulting in ongoing negotiations.
We must remember that these changes are nowhere near enough. With significant racial disparities marking almost every single measure of success in the state of Minnesota, there is still considerable work to be done. We must break the cycle of violence and trauma that funnels marginalized communities into the criminal justice system and perpetuates police brutality. We cannot wait for more violence to motivate us to act.
As your legislator, I am committed to continuing the push for legislation rooted in measurable outcomes so that all Minnesotans have an equal opportunity to thrive. We all have a responsibility to recognize and understand the structural problems embedded in our criminal justice system allowing for the repetition of tragedy. Our communities deserve safety.
It is my job to serve you and our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me with anything you may need.