Minneapolis (AP) — When activists asked Minneapolis voters to replace the police station this summer, one of the first prominent Democrats to blame the plan was a moderate lawmaker who did not live in the city. ..
Angie Craig has declared that it is “short-sighted, misguided, and can harm the community itself that it is trying to protect.” She warned that she could kick out a popular black police chief in the city.
Craig’s district covers a politically divided area from the suburbs to the provinces south of the city, but her willingness to dive into the next battle is the politics proposed by Democrats like Craig. It highlights the threat.
As the city, which has become synonymous with police abuse, is working on police reform, the effort is rapidly dividing Democrats along the lines of idealism. U.S. Congressman Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Keith Ellison, the state’s most prominent progressives, support plans to replace the police station with a new public security station. Other top Democrats, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and Governor Tim Walz, are against it.
The debate dominates the race between the mayor of the city and the city council, For the first time since a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd In May 2020, it triggered a global racial calculation. If the amendment is passed, Great victory of the reform movement — In both substance and symbolism.But many Democrats believe Police “dismantling” or “refund” call Last year, it cost the State Capitol and the party seats in Congress. They are determined not to make it happen again next year. Defeating Minneapolis measures has become an important and high-profile test.
“When it comes to police reform, people are overwhelmingly supportive. Texas-based Democratic strategist Colin Strosa loses the argument when it comes to’refunds’,” he said. .. “Democrats who continue to use Defund the Police are, frankly, just hurting themselves and their causes.”
NS Ballot proposal Ask voters if they want to replace the Minneapolis Police Station with a new public health agency that “can include” police officers “as needed” and adopts a “comprehensive public health approach.” It does not use the word “refund” and critics say it was a deliberate attempt by a majority of city council members to hide their purpose.
In an interview, Ellison, a strong supporter of the proposal, said the modified supporters simply “want more tools to ensure public safety than the police-only model.” They want other people with mental health, housing, violence reduction, intervention expertise, and better training to deal with the situations that armed police are currently facing alone.
But he is wary of the phrase “refunding the police,” which he called the “scream of reform” coming from “young people who were absolutely resentful of what happened to George Floyd.”
Ellison said he avoids using it, saying “hot rhetoric, not a policy, not a program” that doesn’t explain exactly what the fix does. He downplayed the idea that Democrats should be afraid to support the amendment, and said Republicans would attack them no matter how the problem was structured.
Minister Ja Naé Bates, a spokeswoman for the Yes4 Minneapolis coalition in the amendment, said he was dissatisfied with the division between Democrats. She said that those who portray the proposal as a reimbursement of police funds use “fear-based rhetoric” and “right-wing dog whistle” as distractions. Police will “most certainly” be part of the proposed new agency, along with experts trained to handle situations where armed police officers are not suitable, she said.
“The fact of the matter is that Democrats, progressives and liberals want total people’s security, and that’s what this charter change does,” Bates said.
Omar, who represents Minneapolis, claims that the amendment “has nothing radical.”Among the opinion pieces published in Star Tribune, the most radical How your opponent fought to keep it away from the ballot And in her view, it misrepresents what it does.
Ballot questions have raised a lot of money, with glossy mailers appearing all over the city and ads appearing on social media feeds right before early September, when early voting begins.
NS Yes 4 Minneapolis Campaign Raised Over $ 1 Million Cash According to the Election Funds Report submitted in August, there are about $ 500,000 in-kind donations from around the country. The money included $ 500,000 in seed money from the Open Society Foundations, which is associated with billionaire George Soros.
The group emphasized the need for change and sought to reassure voters that the new structure would make everyone safer. Also, even if Aradondo says that passage puts law enforcement leaders in a “totally intolerable position,” opposition says that passage means the departure of the city’s popular black chief, Medallia Aradondo. I also disagree with the proposal.
The much newer All of Mpls, which opposes the fix, raised over $ 100,000 mostly locally in the first few weeks. The amendment leaves the city council and the mayor to grasp the details within a short post-election time frame, thus recreating uncertainty about how the proposed new department will work.
University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs acknowledges the “refund” issue by helping Republicans hold themselves in the 2020 Minnesota legislative race, despite Joe Biden’s victory across the state. I did. He said it was clear to Democrats that “police defense” was effective for Republicans at the time, and that it could be.
US Congressman Nicole Mario Takis of New York turned the seats on Staten Island in 2020 by opposition to unfunded police. Former New York Police Department captain Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat, Wins New York Mayor primary in July On a platform that rejects activists’ calls to Defund the Police.
US Congressman Sean Patrick Flaney of New York, who chairs the Democratic House of Commons campaign committee, opposes the “refund” rhetoric. The U.S. Rescue Plan Stimulation Bill signed in March includes $ 350 billion to assist police Department.
“If this succeeds, many think and think it will, but there will be a major national counterattack, not just in Minnesota,” said Republican strategist Billy Grant. ..
“People will say that they have shown that this can be done. It will have a domino effect.”