Jul 20, 2021 - News
Minnesota to create first state task force on missing and murdered Black women
brittany clardy
The case of Brittany Clardy, a St. Paul teen killed in 2013, helped inspire the panel's formation. Photo courtesy of the Clardy family

Minnesota will soon launch what appears to be the nation's first state-level panel to address the disproportionately high rates of violence against Black women.

Why it matters: Black women die of homicide at twice the rate of women in general, per the CDC. Recent death data suggests the trend holds here.

  • But cases involving Black women tend to receive less attention from law enforcement, media and the public, said Rep. Ruth Richardson, the Mendota Heights Democrat who proposed the idea.

How it works: The Task Force on Missing and Murdered African American Women, approved as part of a public safety budget bill, will be modeled after the state's recent work on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

  • A 12-person panel, made up of representatives from the courts, law enforcement and victims' advocacy groups, will come up with policy recommendations to address the issue by December 2022.

What they're saying: Richardson told Axios she hopes the task force accomplishes more than just "another shiny report."

  • "It really is truly a public health crisis and it's one that there just hasn't been a bright light shone on," she said. "We hope this is a moment that not only moves us forward in Minnesota, but sets a standard for other states."

Of note: The case of Brittany Clardy — an 18 year old from St. Paul who was killed and left in a car in 2013 — was a driving force behind the proposal.

  • Clardy's family testified at a legislative hearing that they believe a swifter response to their missing persons report could've saved her life.
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