Home WORLD Police Reform in the United States: The Story of Two Cities in Minnesota

Police Reform in the United States: The Story of Two Cities in Minnesota



Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. – Last month, when the world was watching the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (Derek Chauvin), he was caught is convicted Murderous George FreudA black man, just a few miles from the courthouse, was shot and killed by Minnesota Police Officer King Porter in the center of Brooklyn Dante Wright, Is also a black man.

Porter claimed that she mistook her gun for a Taser during her 26 years of service and faced a second level Manslaughter.

As events unfolded after Wright’s death, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott began work.

He began a period of several weeks of community involvement by listening to the meeting, and finally introduced a resolution to completely reform the way the city handles police affairs. Elliott is a Liberian Asian American who immigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old. He proposed this resolution on May 8, less than a month after Wright was shot. The following Saturday, the City Council passed the bill by a 4-1 vote.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott speaks to the media at a press conference held at the Daunte Wright vigil in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, April 20, 2021 [Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters]

The rapid adoption of police reforms in the suburbs of Minneapolis is in stark contrast to the situation a few miles south, where Minneapolis has been committed to public relations efforts to influence public opinion to support the police department and its budget, which helps “Both of the two” police remarks on the formation of Jacob Mayor Frey.

Less than two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, most members of the Minneapolis City Council called for the cancellation of funding for the city’s police department. Since then, the City Council has changed its position, from canceling the allocation of the police to transferring the supervision of the department from the mayor to the city council.

Mayor Frey criticized the proposals of the City Council and other entities aimed at reforming the police service. The surge in crime rates includes a year-on-year surge in homicides, shooting victims and carjackings. Many children died or were injured on the north side of the city. There was even a shooting near the anniversary of Floyd’s death on Tuesday. In response, Frey announced his office’s plan to reform the department from within in a speech in the northern part of the city last week.

But some local activists are skeptical.

“I don’t think the Minneapolis City Council really wants [police reform]What they want is to manage the police, so frankly, it is a power grab,” Michel Gross, chairman of the Community United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), told Al Jazeera.

On the other hand, “what the Mayor of Brooklyn Center and the City Council are doing is indeed an example that other communities can emulate — a good example,” Gross said, calling it “impressive.” In the end, “They realized that public safety will not start and stop at the door of the police station,” she said.

Transfer duties from the police

The Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Security and Violence Prevention Resolutions — named after Wright and another 21-year-old man who were shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police in 2019 — established several new departments in the city. To restrict officials involved in armed law enforcement when they are not needed.

The resolution reads: “In these circumstances, relying on our armed law enforcement officers as first responders has resulted in the escalation, injury, and tragic, possibly avoidable lives of our residents (including Daunte Wright and Kobe Drimock-Heisler). Loss.”.

“Multiple methods will improve overall public safety, better address the root causes of many problems, promote racial justice, better protect the disadvantaged members of our community, and allocate public resources more effectively.”

This comprehensive resolution calls for the establishment of an unarmed community response department to address instances of medical, mental health, or other social or behavioral incidents. A new unarmed civilian group traffic enforcement agency will also deal with non-mobile traffic violations.

These changes also include restricting police activities, requiring them to exhaust alternatives before using lethal force, and prohibiting the use of lethal force in some cases.

At the same time, with the establishment of the new department, the resolution also implemented the city’s “subpoenas and subpoenas” policy, requiring officials to issue only subpoenas, and prohibiting the arrest or search of people and vehicles in most non-felonies.

Elliott, who was elected in 2018 and is the city’s first Black mayor, gives the credit for the city’s police reform to its residents in conjunction with the calls for their passing from Wright’s mother and Dimock-Heisler’s parents.

He told Al Jazeera: “We heard our communities say loudly and clearly that they want more mental health resources and want unarmed traffic enforcement.” “We are now able to start making these changes, so this That’s why we move forward and make resolutions.”

For Elliott, these changes have taken place for a long time. “I have always known that we need to make a public safety transformation… to ensure the safety of all our community members,” he said.

“I believe that our community, in its diversity, elected leaders that have lived experience with what it means to be impacted by law enforcement,” Elliott explained. He called the resolution “a common-sense approach to public safety that everyone can support.”

Jim Mortenson, executive director of the Minnesota Police Union’s Law Enforcement Labor Services Division, described the resolution as too hasty.

Mortensen told the local news media CCX Media: “It seems that the mayor voluntarily went out to draft this resolution, but in fact there was not a lot of discussion with the people engaged in this work.”

Although Elliott said that since Freud was murdered last year, he has been working hard to pass some elements of the police reform brought about by this resolution, but Wright’s death brought this issue closer to the family and to the city council. Passed the finish line together.

“The key difference is that the community mobilizes and demands change,” Elliott said of the city where protests took place a few days after Wright’s death.

When talking about the information he requested from the police department when he took office, Elliott said, “According to statistics, a police officer is killed in the Brooklyn Center every 18 months.”

“The time between Kobe’s killing and Dante’s killing is 19 months and a week. Of course we want to get these systems up and running so that we can prevent any future deaths.”


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