Following the police killing of Daunte Wright, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced that the Senate Judiciary and Transportation Committees would host “fact finding” public safety hearings in the next two weeks. Despite promising to discuss additional public safety, criminal justice, and police accountability measures following the passage of initial reforms last July, these hearings will be the first to discuss public safety issues in the 2021 Legislative Session.
The DFL members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, ranking lead Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) and Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove), released the following statement:
“Following the death of another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, during an encounter with law enforcement, Senate Republicans have announced that they will host ‘fact-finding’ hearings to address public safety issues. It has not yet been a year since the death of George Floyd, and it should not have taken the death of another unarmed Black man to convince the majority to hold hearings and continue our work.
Despite the promises that were made last summer to continue our work on policing and public safety reforms, the Senate has yet to hear any legislation that builds on the small steps we began to take. These hearings should only be the start as we pursue a real and robust package of reforms that can address some of the core inequities in our criminal justice system. With five weeks left in the 2021 Legislative Session there is plenty of time to act on the unfinished work from last summer that can deliver real change.”