MN Legislature Passes Public Safety Bill

The final bill limits no-knock search warrants, expands access to private information on police misconduct, and creates “sign-and-release” warrants. Racial justice activists say negotiations left out significant policing reforms.

Feven Gerezgiher reports: 

 

Early Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Legislature passed the long-awaited public safety and criminal justice reform bill.

 

The final bill limits no-knock search warrants, expands access to private information on police misconduct, and creates “sign-and-release” warrants.

 

At a rally Wednesday, racial justice activists called on Governor Walz to veto the bill. Toshira Galloway said negotiations left out significant policing reforms.

 

“You listen to our stories..you watch us cry. You hear all that they’ve done. You’ve heard about the 470 murders in addition to George Floyd… So how can you make a deal to say this is ok?”

 

Despite this, Justin Terrell, Executive Director of the Minnesota Justice Research Center, said the bill is good overall.

 

“There’s a couple things here that people will actually feel,” said Terrell. “People are going to notice that they get pulled over by the police that they’re getting a sign and release notice, as opposed to being arrested on the side of the street. When you call 911, if you’re in a mental health situation, the 911 operator now has the option to send a mental health response, right, as opposed to just an armed officer.”

 

Terrell is a member of the POST Board, which has power over licensing and setting standards for Minnesota law enforcement. Earlier this week, Governor Walz announced an executive action investing $15 million in community violence prevention grants, as well as supporting data collection by the POST Board.

 

Terrell said he hopes the POST board can be more proactive in holding police accountable for misconduct.

 

 

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