Minneapolis Residents Vote on Police Reform Efforts
January 12, 2023
- On Tuesday, Minneapolis voters will decide on whether to replace the city's police with a new Department of Public Safety.
- If passed, the city council would then decide the new department's exact responsibilities and leadership, but backers have said it will focus on mental health, civilian wellbeing and social services.
- Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposes the police overhaul, is also up for reelection as are city council members.
Voters in Minnesota's biggest city will decide whether to erase their police department from the Minneapolis charter and create a new Department of Public Safety focused on mental health, civilian wellbeing and social services.
Howard Henderson, founding director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University, said the measure is reflective of the resistance that grew out of Floyd's killing to traditional policing.
"The problem is we created this monster, believing that the police were the answer to crime," Henderson said. "Minneapolis is trying to do something different. I think the city council is giving them an opportunity. ... It'll be a great landmark ... but we need more and more cities to begin to raise this issue and put it to a vote for the people to decide. That's the American way."
"The pro-police reform people are going to say, great move in the right direction, the anti-police reform people are going to say, see now violent crime is about to go through the roof."
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