POCI Caucus responds to Sen. Gazelka’s announcement of “oversight hearings” about recent unrest

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Members of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus in the Minnesota Legislature issued the following statement in response to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s Thursday morning press conference:

“If oversight of law enforcement is the goal, Senate Republicans must quickly join the POCI Caucus to advance real criminal justice reforms. Why – five days after Senate Republicans walked away from this serious work – hasn’t Senator Gazelka yet responded to the House’s counteroffer during the special session to meet demands of the people for police accountability?

“There will be time to address the civil unrest that occurred in the days following George Floyd’s senseless killing, but the work to enact transformative, systemic changes within law enforcement is urgent, and Black, Indigenous, and communities of color can’t wait any longer for change. Senate Republicans have a duty to resume these critical discussions right now, or status quo systems that have failed Minnesotans for generations will continue to prevail.”

Today marks the one month anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.

The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Mary Kunesh-Podein (41B), Fue Lee (59A), Alice Mann (56B), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), Samantha Vang (40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Sens. Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Jeff Hayden (62), Bobby Joe Champion (59), and Patricia Torres Ray (63).

Senator Franzen
Melisa Franzen represents District 49 in the southwest Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Foung Hawj
Foung Hawj represents District 67, which includes the east side of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the central Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Jeff Hayden
Jeff Hayden represents District 62, which includes portions of south Minneapolis in Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Bobby Joe Champion represents District 59, which includes portions of downtown and north Minneapolis in Hennepin County. He is also an attorney.

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Senator Patricia Torres Ray
Patricia Torres Ray represents District 63, which includes portions of southeastern Minneapolis and eastern Richfield in Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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