Activists disappointed over Minnesota's policing agreement
State lawmakers reached a deal on a public safety bill over the weekend, but it's gotten a chilly reception from activists and the DFL People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus.
Driving the news: Legislators announced an agreement Saturday night that puts new regulations on no-knock warrants, requires 911 operators to dispatch mental health crisis teams to certain calls when available and helps build a database that tracks officer conduct.
- It also gives pay increases for state law enforcement officers and makes tougher penalties for those who injure officers.
Yes, but: It doesn't include some of the police reforms requested by activists, like banning pretext traffic stops for minor violations and a requirement that when police kill a person, video footage is released to families within 48 hours.
What they're saying: Senate Republican Leader Paul Gazelka hailed the agreement, saying it avoided "anti-police measures."
- "The recent increase in violent crime has all of us on edge, but this agreement keeps our promise," Gazelka said in a statement.
State Rep. John Thompson (DFL-St. Paul) asked Gov. Tim Walz to show some "testicular fortitude" on police reform.
- "We don't need a press conference with you governor, we need a leader," he said.
Walz said the deal was "not enough," though he encouraged lawmakers to approve it. A budget deal is needed by July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.
Of note: Walz also announced some executive actions around police reform yesterday, including $15 million for community violence prevention grants and creating a policy that provides video footage to families of people killed by police within five days.
- But that only applies to state agencies, not city and county law enforcement.
What's ahead: The House is set to vote on the agreement Tuesday.
- While the POCI Caucus could sink the bill, Fox 9 reporter Theo Keith asked several POCI members to raise their hand if they would vote against it without some of their amendments, and none of them did.
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