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Minneapolis ‘Black Codes’ repealed by city council

By staff |
June 5, 2015

Minneapolis, MN - After months of organizing and community pressure, the Minneapolis city council voted 12-1 to repeal laws against lurking and spitting, June 5. These laws, disproportionately enforced against African Americans and other oppressed nationalities, had been criticized as "Minneapolis Black Codes."

The repeal comes on the heels of a new ACLU report showing that in Minneapolis, Black and Native American people are over eight times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses than white people.​

The Twin Cities' racial disparities, among the worst in the nation on every measure, have long shadowed a region consistently cited as one of the best places to live - for white people.

"In many ways Minnesota and Wisconsin have become the new South. The disparities we're seeing rival anything in the Jim Crow era," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "Today's repeal is a small, important first step toward ending racial disparities in our police system.”

Repealing these ordinances has been a priority for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis, and the ACLU-MN.