Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and involves the Minnesota Governor endorsing police reform laws.
Gov. Tim Walz (D ) endorsed a package of sweeping changes to policing on Thursday after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day spurred an uprising against racism and inequality in the state’s largest city and across the country.
He urged the legislature to adopt proposals that would put investigations of officer-involved deaths in the hands of the attorney general, revamp oversight and disciplinary procedures, and fund community groups that could act as alternatives to the police.
“These reforms have been needed for a long time,” Walz said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “These reforms have been thought out. These reforms have been implemented in other places, and the data shows they work.”
If passed into law, the legislation would position Minnesota at the fore of a nationwide movement to drastically change policing especially officers’ uses of force, which disproportionately impacts black and brown people.
In Minnesota, the state government is divided. The push for change will unfold against the complicated backdrop of the legislature’s special session, which has been scheduled since May, when lawmakers adjourned and left a laundry list of unfinished business.
Democrats, who have been most vocal about the changes, control the House. The party’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus drew up the proposals that Walz co-signed. Republicans run the Senate, and though they’ve shown support for some measures, they’ve also criticized Walz and indicated their priority will be to curb his power to extend the covid-19 state of emergency.
But some lawmakers have said they wouldn’t vote on other legislation until a police bill is passed.
Experts have cautioned that the road to real change is long and arduous, but the efforts in the state legislature come after a vetoproof majority of the Minneapolis city council pledged they would dismantle the city’s police department and replace it with a new system of public safety. And on Wednesday, the department’s head withdrew from negotiations with the police union, saying it stymied positive change.
Since the white ex-police officer Derek Chauvin drove his knee into the neck of Floyd, an unarmed black man, for nearly nine minutes on May 25, millions have taken to the streets to demand systemic policy changes. Elected leaders have begun to enact them.