Minneapolis voters reject measure to replace police department

Voters in Minnesota’s largest city have rejected what would have been an unprecedented step in dismantling the police department at the ballot box on Tuesday following calls for reform after George Floyd’s death.

The measure asked voters if they were in favor of amending the city charter to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety. The initiative would have removed language from the charter related to the agency, including minimum funding requirements, and would have shared control of public safety between the mayor and the city council.

AUSTIN, TEXAS, DEFINED ITS POLICE DEPARTMENT. NOW VOTERS WILL DECIDE WHETHER THE CITY NEEDS MORE OFFICERS

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo addresses the media regarding the proposed charter change that would replace the police department, during a new conference in St. Louis.  Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo addresses the media regarding the proposed charter change that would replace the police department, during a new conference in St. Louis. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.
(Elizabeth Flores / Star Tribune via AP)

It would have essentially removed power from the mayor and police chief in an attempt to recreate police work. Tuesday’s vote comes as Minneapolis experiences an increase in violent crime similar to other cities.

According to the ballot, the Department of Public Safety would have used a “comprehensive public health approach” to policing that places greater emphasis on public health, particularly mental health.

The measure was spearheaded by Yes 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of companies and other groups that collected 22,000 signatures to put it on the ballot, which was a struggle in itself after it became the subject of legal challenges. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in September that voters could rule on the case.

Lawn signs are in conflict with each other outside a polling station Tuesday in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo / Christian Monterrosa)

Lawn signs are in conflict with each other outside a polling station Tuesday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo / Christian Monterrosa)

The goal, the group said, was to have options other than officers for answering non-police-related calls. Lawyers insisted the measure was not intended to defuse police. As of Oct. 9, the police department had 591 sworn officers, down from 853 in 2018, a police spokesman told Fox News.

Another question on the same ballot paper also asked voters whether they were in favor of consolidating the rest of the city’s municipal departments under the mayor, similar to how the police department is organized today.

Voters come from the Sabathani Community Center after casting their ballots in local elections Tuesday in Minneapolis.  (David Joles / Star Tribune via AP)

Voters come from the Sabathani Community Center after casting their ballots in local elections Tuesday in Minneapolis. (David Joles / Star Tribune via AP)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

On Tuesday, Minneapolis voters gave their first chance to give their input to police reform since George Floyd’s death in May 2020 of former White Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the subsequent nationwide protests, riots, lawsuits and pledges from elected officials to revise how communities , especially those of color, are monitored.

Leave a Comment