Democrats in Minneapolis recently lost a battle when the city overwhelmingly voted “No” on a measure to abolish law enforcement in their city. This measure to abolish the police had been supported by Squad Member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–MN).
The voters of Minneapolis voted against Question 2 with 57% of the 136 precincts. This compares to the 59,196 votes for. The amendment was intended to be the most anti-police measure in America, adding that it would require the city charter to abolish the police and replace them with a Public Safety department. The amendment would have eliminated the chief position and minimum staffing requirements in the department.
It was reported that the Department of Public Safety would have radically altered Minneapolis’ law enforcement and eliminated the minimum funding requirement for the police department in a city where there has already been a 286% increase in carjackings in the past year.
Question 2 would have replaced the police department with a Department of Public Safety, adding that they would oversee a public safety approach to safety. This would include hiring licensed officers to carry out the department’s duties. The department would’ve been led by a public safety commissioner, who would have been appointed by the mayor and ratified by the council. The ballot initiative would also have allowed for the department to house the fire department.
Jacob Frey, Democrat Mayor, opposed the measure while it was enthusiastically supported by Ilhan Omar (D–MN) as well as Keith Ellison, Minnesota AG. The measure was also supported by Lizzo, a pop star.
U.S Sen Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Waltz, however, opposed the measure. While they did not actively campaign against it, they made it clear that the police chief could not report to more than a dozen bosses, and that they made their opposition “clear” from the beginning.
Kathryn Pearson, University of Minnesota political science professor, stated that democratic politicians would rather not get involved with the state’s politics and be out front on the issue, as it is guaranteed to anger some of the Dem voters. She went on to say that the issue really highlights the division within the Democratic Party.