With citizen-led charter change, Minneapolis City Council withdraws its version

Gathering at Powderhorn Park
Nine Minneapolis City Council members declared their commitment to defunding and dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department in June 2020, along with the community groups Black Visions and Reclaim The Block.
Liam James Doyle | MPR News 2020

A Minneapolis City Council committee took steps Wednesday to withdraw one of two charter amendments that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.

Council member Jeremy Schroeder says the council authors decided to withdraw the council-created amendment to avoid confusion with a similar citizen-driven charter amendment.

“Both amendments would have a similar structure — where the new department would be like every other department in the city,” Schroeder said. “They’d report to the mayor with legislative oversight by the Council. They'd also both continue to have law enforcement.”

The citizen charter amendment to create a new Department of Public Safety is expected to appear on voters' ballots in November. In April, the Yes 4 Minneapolis coalition dropped off more than 20,000 signatures to the Minneapolis City Hall to get a measure on the ballot that would strike a section of the city’s charter that requires a police department be the only option for public safety. The coalition includes Reclaim the Block, Black Visions, TakeAction Minnesota and other groups.

The Yes 4 Minneapolis charter amendment is similar to the council’s but doesn’t include a requirement for police.

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