The Minnesota Senate voted 45-21 to pass a public safety bill that included police reform. The reforms are part of a bigger public safety budgeting bill. The omnibus bill had Republican support in both the House and the Senate, but some Democrats who said it didn’t go far enough voted against it.
The bill will put limits on no-knock warrants and on how the police use informants. It was also amended on the floor to leave room for “sign-and-release” warrants which would no longer require police to arrest low-level offenders just for missing a court appearance. The Democrats who control the House did halt their push for banning “pretextual” traffic stops, like getting pulled over for expired tabs. This new bill follows a previously passed police reform bill that banned the use of chokeholds in the state of Minnesota.
Democratic Representative Carlos Mariani pushed fellow Democrats to pass the bill. He said, “This is a mighty bill. And yet as meaningful as all these provisions and more are, it also lacks, in my opinion, the necessary weight of accountability to respond to the persistent use of deadly force by licensed police officers that have produced a steady stream of killings of Black and brown people in Minnesota.” He encouraged them to begin by passing this bill and to continue to push for more greater change in the coming months, blaming the GOP for blocking any further action at this time.
The bill wasn’t enough for some protesters either. Toshira Garraway, the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, said, “We want the House to reject it and try again. We are in a state of emergency. This isn’t a situation where we can wait another year so more people can end up dead.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]