Minnesota’s Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison are licking their wounds after an incredibly progressive ballot measure to rid the city of its police force was rejected by voters.
56% of Minnesota voters rejected the amendment which called to replace the city’s police department with a “Department of Public Safety.” The department would not be required to employ police officers at all. Rather, social workers, healthcare workers, violence interrupters and specialized individuals who are trained to work with addiction, mental health crises and homelessness would make up the department.
On October 26, ‘Squad’ member Rep. Omar tweeted her support of the measure writing, “The election next week in Minneapolis is no less than a fight of hope vs. fear, of maintaining a broken status quo that killed George Floyd or taking the path of reform. Let’s remember what got us here: the Minneapolis Police Department killed a man, George Floyd, in broad daylight.”
Minneapolis’ liberal city council voted to dismantle its police department in June; it also approved a measure to cut the police budget. Over the last year, violent crime has surged in the city. Local ABC affiliate KSTP-TV reported in 2021, gun-related injuries have surged 26%, homicides have increased 16%, robberies have ticked up 5% and aggravated assaults spiked nearly 3% year-over-year.
National Review reports that “the ballot initiative was pushed by Yes 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of more than 50 liberal and leftist groups, including racial justice and black-liberation organizations, labor unions, advocates for sex workers and the homeless, the American Civil Liberties Union, a young Democrats group, and at least two local socialist organizations.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune rejected the progressive ballot measure and urged residents to vote down the initiative. The media outlet wrote it provides “simply no plan for public safety in Minnesota’s largest city.”