The Minnesota Supreme Court this week weighed in on the ongoing push for extreme police reform.
According to Breitbart, the court decided to give Minneapolis voters the opportunity to get rid of its police department.
Activists present bold proposition
The ruling came in response to the case of Samuel v. City of Minneapolis and impacts a proposal to place the issue on ballots in an upcoming election.
City council members approved the proposal after it was brought forth by an advocacy group called Yes 4 Minneapolis.
If successful, the plan would lead to a number of major policing changes in the city, most notably replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety. Such an institution is described in the amendment set to be put before voters as a “comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions” related to public safety.
In addition to eradicating the traditional police department, the police chief would be replaced by a commissioner appointed by the council. Effectively, the move would shift policing from the executive branch of government to the legislative.
Although the proposal would eliminate the police department itself, it would not necessarily mean there would be no more police officers on the streets. In fact, the amendment states that the reconfiguration “could include licensed peace officer (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities.”
Background on the case
Minneapolis became the epicenter of a growing anti-police movement last year with the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
That event sparked a string of protests across the nation culminating with the opportunity for voters in that city to decide whether or not to eliminate their local police department.
If Minneapolis residents vote in favor of the proposed reform, it would be among the most extreme police-related actions taken since Floyd’s death. Other cities have approved policies that redirect funds away from police, but none has gone so far as to completely eliminate a law enforcement agency.
In fact, many Democrats have seemingly backed off from the boldest calls for police reform as cities across the United States continue to experience a surge in violent crime.
Voters will have an opportunity to vote on the matter during upcoming municipal elections. Although Election Day is Nov. 2, early voting will begin soon.