Police Reform Bill Loses Steam at the Minnesota State Capitol

With a little over a week left before the end of the Minnesota legislative session, the House and Senate have yet to agree on policing reforms. 

Feven Gerezgiher reports:

With a little over a week left before the end of the Minnesota legislative session, the House and Senate have yet to agree on policing reforms. 

At a hearing Thursday, the mother of Daunte Wright and relatives of other victims of police testified before a joint committee.

“You have the power today to spare so many people the grief that we’re carrying, that we’re going to be carrying for the rest of our lives,” said Katie Wright. “I’m asking you to do the right thing and vote for these bills in Daunte’s name.”

The committee heard additional testimony from police, researchers, and community organizers in favor of statewide policy changes.

If passed, the bill would end no-knock warrants, as well as police-only responses to mental health crisis calls. It would also increase public access to body camera footage.  Deputy Director of CAIR-MN Mohamed Ibrahim said opponents to the bill point to legislation passed last year after the death of George Floyd.

“The rhetoric we’re hearing from Republicans is that we haven’t had enough time for those things to materialize, that’s why we’re not able to get meaningful change,” said Ibrahim. “But the truth is they were all watered down bills that we knew were not the transformative changes that we need. It wasn’t enough to save Dolal Idd. It wasn’t enough to save Daunte Wright, and the others that died right after George Floyd.”

Ibrahim said Minnesota is at the center of a nationwide push for police reform.

“I think it’s important to remember that this is a moment, that we may never get it another chance like this to make meaningful reform and meaningful change that is transformational,” said Ibrahim.

On Saturday, the committee will hear testimony on prison safety and corrections reform, issues which are also included in the bill.

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