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21st Century Minneapolis Police Reform

People of color are disproportionately apprehended, arrested, and harmed by law enforcement. There are many instances where innocent police-civilian interactions have resulted in police using deadly force.

We are all well aware of the need for criminal justice reform and it starts with police reform. The current approach to fighting crime and maintaining public safety is broken. It is a system that has resulted in and will continue to lead to loss of life.

The unfortunate event this past week brought so much turmoil to this city, including the resignation of the police chief. I would support a new chief who would bring a systematic change to this department that has been the most visible face of the city and yet has a history of unfairness to folks who look like me. Given these pressing issues our policing must evolve. There must be a higher level of accountability and transparency. The Minneapolis Police Department has lost the public’s trust and confidence. The now resigned police chief has also left a bad taste when she threw the officer who was involved in the recent shooting under the bus before the investigation was completed. This has never occurred in our city and took the wind out of all officers of color who feel they are expendable for political expediency.

Unlike my opponent who is supported by the police union and has a known police union lobbyist in his campaign. This is the same union that acts swiftly in defense of white officers and suddenly silent when the officer involved in incidents is a person of color. I am deeply committed to a comprehensive police reform built on the principles of partnership and trust between residents and law enforcement.

I see this as a great opportunity to implement for changes, including looking for any loop holes in the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras policies, establishing a complete civilian oversight authority with disciplinary powers, an integrated approach to de-escalation and minimizing use of force, examining explicit and implicit biases, and total review of the police union contract with a fine-toothed comb to make it balanced between public safety and community interests. The departments should also use community members in the hiring process to make sure the community has a say on who comes to serve in their respective neighborhoods. The time to act is now!

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