While our community is in pain, grieving the loss of yet another Black man in Minnesota, we must stop playing politics. We’ve held dozens of hearings over the course of the session that were met with resistance and dismissiveness from police lobbyists and Republican members in both the Senate and the House.
The people of Minnesota deserve and demand a future where community trust is sacred, police officers are held accountable for misconduct, and justice is served for everyone. We cannot normalize waking up to a piling list of Black men killed by law enforcement officers.
The House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee has had a total of 21 hearings which have included police reform bills, 11 of which occurred this year. While lawmakers passed compromise reforms last year — including a prohibition on “warrior training,” a ban on chokeholds, and requiring the duty to intercede — many critical reforms such as enhanced citizen oversight and strengthening the police officer misconduct database were left off the table.
Some of the proposals that we are pushing forward include a measure to allow local governments to establish civilian oversight councils, a ban on altering, erasing or destroying body-worn camera recordings and withholding footage, prohibiting peace officers from affiliating with white supermacist groups, and funding to community organizations working to prevent crime.
The United Black Legislative Caucus released an important statement on Monday in the wake of Daunte Wright’s killing in Brooklyn Center. You can give it a read here.