56% of voters rejected a progressive amendment in Minneapolis which would get rid of the city’s police department. Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd was killed, introduced the charter amendment, which would replace the city’s police department with a “Department of Public Safety.” The department would not be required to employ police officers.
Many activists and groups behind the ballot measure are the same as those that have called for a “defund the police” initiative. City Question 2 asked Minneapolis voters if they would like to replace the police department with the public safety department, which would employ “a comprehensive public health approach.”
Visionaries of the plan would have replaced police officers with social workers, health-care workers, violence interrupters and specialized individuals who are trained to work with addiction, mental health crises and homelessness.
The new department would have been headed by a civilian commissioner, not the police chief, who would report to the mayor and the 13-member city council. It also would have ended the funding formula to determine how many police officers are employed in the city.
National Review reports that “the ballot initiative was pushed by Yes 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of more than 50 liberal and leftist groups, including racial justice and black-liberation organizations, labor unions, advocates for sex workers and the homeless, the American Civil Liberties Union, a young Democrats group, and at least two local socialist organizations.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune rejected the progressive ballot measure and urged residents to vote down the initiative. The media outlet wrote it provides “simply no plan for public safety in Minnesota’s largest city.”