ST. PAUL— Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is proud to stand with Black-led organizations, our BIPOC neighbors, and other progressive organizations in calling for the Minnesota Legislature to rise to the moment and pass additional police accountability measures.
A diverse array of 38 faith, racial justice, health care, social service, small business, labor, environmental and immigrant organizations signed onto the letter below calling on the Minnesota legislature to pass a set of police accountability bills.
The letter was organized by ISAIAH and the Black Barbershop and Congregation Cooperative.
Dear Governor Walz, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, Speaker Hortman, and All Members of the Minnesota Legislature:
Whether you are a suburban mom, a rural grandparent, or a neighbor in the city; Black, brown or white; or a newcomer, long-time resident, or Indigenous, every Minnesotan wants to be part of a healthy, thriving, and safe community. We all deserve to live in a state where communities of color, particularly those of us who are Black, are not targeted, harassed, brutalized, and murdered by our public servants.
We appreciate that several important police reforms were passed in last summer’s second special session. Unfortunately the recent horrific killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center shows that more urgent action is needed to change state law.
Across the state, police have failed to keep all of us safe. In order to achieve safety for all, we need more public funding to support the common good, such as early childhood care and education, healthcare, affordable housing and liveable wages. But the recent tragic examples of police violence show us the incredible urgency of increased accountability measures. We are grateful to the Minnesota legislature’s United Black Legislative Caucus and People of Color & Indigenous Caucus, which have advanced bills this session that would bring much needed change to communities across the state. We call on the legislature to pass the following bills:
- Limit Traffic Stops - to prevent a driver from being stopped for expired tabs, an air freshener hanging in the window, and other low level offenses. This is a direct response to the reasons given for the traffic stop that led to the death of Daunte Wright. (HF 2529)
- Establish Civilian Police Oversight Councils - allowing local units of government to establish citizen oversight councils for law enforcement, ensuring that community members can both hold law enforcement accountable and have their voices heard in discussions of public safety. (HF 640)
- Improve Officer Accountability - building a more effective early warning intervention system to keep officers with a history of misconduct off the streets. (HF 1374)
- White Supremacy Ban - prohibiting law enforcement from affiliating with white supremacist groups. (HF 593)
- Mental health response - Directing 911 operators to refer calls to mental health crisis teams instead of armed officers, where appropriate and available. (HF 1686)
- Restrict No-Knock Warrants - Requiring a higher standard before no-knock warrants can be used (HF 1762)
- Body-Camera Video - prohibit the altering, erasing, or destroying recordings and withholding of footage involving the use of deadly force from the victim’s family. (HF 1103)
Our communities are still hurting. But the cycle of police violence is not inevitable. Together, we can change it. We get to imagine and build what public safety looks like. We get to have a state where we are all safe no matter what language we speak, where we come from, or what we look like. While these bills are not sufficient to fully transform public safety, they represent another fiercely urgent step forward on that path. We urge your support.
Advocates for Human Rights
Barbershop & Black Congregation Cooperative
Catholic Charities of St. Paul & Minneapolis
Center for African Immigrants and Refugees Organization (CAIRO)
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
Filipinx for Immigrant rights & Racial justice MN
Interfaith Coalition on Immigration
Jewish Community Action
Legal Rights Center
Main Street Alliance of Minnesota
Minnesota Budget Project
Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
Minnesota Council of Churches
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
MN Immigrant Movement
Minnesota Moms Demand Action
Minnesota Social Service Association
Muslim American Society - MN
MUUSJA - MN Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund
SEIU Local 26
This is Medicaid Coalition
Women’s March Minnesota
The following small businesses have also signed on:
Accounted For LLC
Blue Collar Supper Club
Coco Canary Consulting LLC
House of Gristle
Phoenix Growth Systems LLC
VZNCY Branding Agency