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Do-nothing measure on Minneapolis police voted down in referendum

By staff |
November 7, 2021
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Minneapolis rebellion against police terror following murder of George Floyd
Minneapolis rebellion against police terror following murder of George Floyd (Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On election day, November 2, voters in Minneapolis rejected a much-publicized and heavily-financed ballot initiative about policing, 56% to 44%. On the ballot, it was called “Question 2.”

Had it passed, Question 2 would have done little. It basically renamed the police department to a “Department of Public Safety.” It took away some powers held by the mayor and shared them with the city council. It got rid of obsolete references about police staffing levels and funding. It said the newly-named department should be “integrating its public safety functions into a comprehensive public health approach to safety,” with no specifics at all.

The lack of substance in Question 2 made it so that, before the vote, both sides were presenting propaganda and arguing about details that simply didn’t exist.

Local groups that have been fighting against police repression - including the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J), Communities United Against Police Brutality, the Racial Justice Network and others - said the language did not (and would not) hold police accountable for past, present or future crimes against the people.

Post-election statements from TCC4J note, “One reason Question 2 got traction is because our communities have been crying out for change, and Question 2 was hastily presented as an option. But it was a flawed option,” and “Minneapolis deserves better than Question 2, a proposal that was all promises but no substance.”

For years, Minnesota groups trying to curb police crimes have been working to change state laws, as well as battling city systems, for accountability. However, the push for Question 2 came in part from some city councilors’ and influential national figures’ reeling from the uprising after their cop Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. They were putting on a show of doing something after years of inaction. Some activists also see the money and push for Question 2 as an opportunist grab at the limelight, on the backs of people who have been struggling for years to keep family members and communities from getting killed by racist police.

TCC4J is gathering signatures for a Minneapolis ballot initiative for a city charter change calling for community control of the police, for the 2022 election. It is a detailed charter amendment with ordinance language ready to go. They call for a Civilian Police Accountability Commission (CPAC) with the responsibility to “check police power and ensure that officers like Derek Chauvin are removed from the force after the first incident of racist brutality and misconduct, not the 27th.”

For more information on the fight community control of the police in Minneapolis, check out TCC4J.net or tinyurl.com/Mpls4MCCP.

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