After Floyd's Murder, Minneapolis Votes 'No' on Dissolving Police Department
Over 56% of voters were against amending the Minneapolis Police Charter to establish a new department, which would provide “public safety functions through a comprehensive public health approach."
In May 2020, White police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, for 19 minutes until he suffocated to death, sparking nationwide protests against the systemic racism of US police departments.
Minneapolis, the death place of George Floyd who was murdered by a police officer, voted not to dissolve and replace the police department.
Precincts throughout the state recorded tallies, reporting that over 56% of voters were against amending the Minneapolis Police Charter to establish a new department, which would provide “public safety functions through a comprehensive public health approach,” according to official election results.
Jacob Frey, Minneapolis Democrat mayor, was among those who opposed the police department reform, embracing the results of the vote. The mayor is running for a second term in the state.
"We need deep, structural change to policing in America," Frey told supporters, according to The Washington Post. He continued, "At the same time, we need police officers to make sure that they are working directly with the community to keep us safe."
Had the ballot measure passed, the Department of Public Safety would have seen a policy and system alteration by the major, in addition to further emphasis on putting social workers and psychologists to work.
Floyd’s murderer, Chauvin, who is now an ex-police officer, was convicted of murder and manslaughter and sentenced to over 22 years in prison.
Stances and advocacy
All of Mpls, which has been advocating against dissolving the police department, iterated that ‘neither side’ of the ballot is satisfied with the police system, but their differences lie in how to address the changes if there were changes to be made. Leili Fatehi, the campaign manager, said voters gave a clear mandate for continuing to work on reforms within the structure of the agency.
On the other hand, JaNae Bates, the leader of Yes4Minneapolis, which campaigned for the establishment of a new department, expressed her dissatisfaction with the results: "The people of Minneapolis are deserving to have a law enforcement agency that is accountable and transparent, and that is not what we have today," she said. "We'll continue to push for our people."
Those who opposed the measure were Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Mayor Jacob Frey, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Governor Tim Walz. On the other hand, US Representative Ilhan Omar and Minnesota Attorney Keith Ellison – who oversaw Chauvin’s prosecution – supported the measure.