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Minneapolis: ‘Renaming police department, giving it a new mission statement is not what we need’

By staff

Minneapolis protest against police crimes.

Minneapolis MN – The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J) has come out against the city council’s proposed Community Safety and Violence Prevention charter amendment (2020-00668), that would rename the Minneapolis police department and would give the city council and mayor the power to anoint the head of the newly-named “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” The measure was heard in the online city council meeting June 26.

Instead, the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar advocates community control of the police via CPAC – an all-elected, all-civilian council with power over the police department to hire, fire and prosecute cops.

TCC4J presented to the council via email – the only method for public input, because of the rules of the city council’s online meeting. TCC4J outlines the reasons for opposing the council’s measure, “First, all the power would still be in the hands of the council and mayor's office. Both bodies have a long track record of letting the police murder and maim with impunity. They had their chance, many chances over several decades, and they blew it. There is no reason to believe that in a few months, the city council won’t revert back to appeasing the police force and the FOP.

“Also, there are no details in the proposal about how things would change, except in name and in letting the city council have a say (instead of just the mayor) in picking the new ‘director.’ Our CPAC proposal spells out in great detail what needs to be done. When CPAC gets onto the ballot or before the council, the people will know what they are voting for.

“The city council’s proposal does not spell out any new disciplinary measures or oversight of the police, nor does it spell out what community involvement will look like beyond a vague ‘consistently engaging the public…’ Without discipline and true community engagement (and not token community involvement, either), change will not occur. This proposal is trying to take the easy way out: saying what they think the public wants to hear without doing the hard work of getting rid of violent cops.

“Since the righteous uprisings in Minneapolis and around the world after the murder of George Floyd, elected officials have been scrambling like cockroaches after the lights got turned on. Then they retreat to the dark again and do most of their business in secret.”

The measure goes before the city charter commission on July 1.

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