Minneapolis voters rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety, according to the Associated Press.
The ballot initiative would have amended the city’s charter to remove a requirement that the police department must maintain a minimum of officers.
“If the people of Minneapolis vote no, that does mean that the disinformation campaign has won out for this battle,” JaNaé Bates, a minister and spokesperson for Yes 4 Minneapolis, the coalition that petitioned to put the item on the ballot, said in a briefing Tuesday morning. “And it means that this fight continues. We will most certainly continue moving forward.”
The proposed charter is a response to public outcry after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. The amendment would have included the following:
- Establishing a new department of public safety to integrate and oversee a continuum of public safety efforts that prevent, intervene in, and reduce crime and violence to create safer communities for everyone in Minneapolis.
- Removing the Minneapolis Police Department as a charter department, and establishing in its place a Division of Law Enforcement within the department of public safety made up of sworn peace officers responsible for the core functions of law enforcement.
- Removing language in the current charter that mandates a minimum number of police employees. It would give Minneapolis the same freedom other Minnesota cities have to decide how to best meet our urgent needs of preventing, reducing and responding to crime.
- Place the department of public safety under the purview of both the city council and the mayor, in line with other city departments. The current City Charter stipulates that the police department reports exclusively to the mayor, creating confusion in the community and reducing transparency and oversight.
Voters across the US continue to await results in state and local elections in several states on Tuesday.
Election officials continue to count ballots in Virginia’s and New Jersey’s gubernatorial races. Mayoral contests in cities like Boston and Atlanta remain undetermined. Democrat Eric Adams will become New York’s second black mayor, AP, CNN and ABC projected.