After a lengthy debate that began late Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota House on a 71-59 vote passed a sweeping package of police reform bills early this morning. The vote was largely along party lines. During the debate, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt of Crown said “we believe that people’s civil rights need to be, must be protected, and if there’s a bad apple in a police department, we want to make sure that that bad apple is thrown out.” But Democratic Representative Carlos Mariani of Minneapolis said the bills are about systemic change and added “it wasn’t only a bad apple that killed Philando or Jamar Clark. Members, this isn’t about just apples, it’s about the tree.” Republican Representative Brian Johnson of Cambridge works in law enforcement. He voted against the bill and said “what happened to George Floyd should never happen to anybody, but some of the things we do in this legislature thinking it’s the right thing, just makes the problem worse.” Democratic Representative Mohamud Noor of Minneapolis strongly supported the bills and called the vote “a defining moment in our state. We’re here because a black man is dead in the hands of Minneapolis police. We’re faced with this challenge because for far too long, we’ve done nothing.” The bills include:
Reclaiming Community Oversight
Putting power into the hands of the people and neighborhoods that police officers are sworn to serve and protect.
· Retroactive Repeal of Statutes of Limitations (Vang)
· Warrior Training Prohibited (Richardson)
· Choke Hold Ban (Moran)
· Duty to Intercede (Becker-Finn)
· Police Residency Reform (Hassan)
· Data Collection and Regulatory Reform/etc. (Mariani)
· Arbitration Reform (Her)
· Law Enforcement Oversight Council Reform (Gomez)
Restoring confidence and trust in the systems that are meant to provide justice for all Minnesotans.
· Use of Force Reform (Moran)
· Prosecutorial Reform (Becker-Finn)
· Investigatory Reform (Mariani)
· Cash Bail Reform (Noor)
Re-Imagining Public Safety
Ending the unacceptable culture that is responsible for the murder of George Floyd and far too many others who look like him.
· Public Safety Peer Counseling Debriefing (Noor)
· Police Officer Critical Incident Review (Kunesh-Podein)
· Community-Led Public Safety (Gomez)
· Mental Health Training (Richardson)
· Autism Training (Richardson)
· Restore the Vote (Moran)
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Senate passed a more limited set of police reform bills. Now a joint committee of House and Senate members much reach an agreement before the special session’s end. Senate leaders have said they will end the session today.