Senate Republicans held a joint Transportation and Judiciary and Public Safety Committee hearing to review their one-sided Review of Lawlessness and Government Responses to Minnesota’s 2020 Riots report based on the hearings they held over the summer. Senator Ron Latz (DFL-Saint Louis Park), Senate DFL lead on the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, and Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), Senate DFL lead on the Transportation Committee, released the following statement in response:
“After George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a police officer, thousands of Minnesotans peacefully protested. Since then, communities across the state have come together to denounce structural racism and the inequitable treatment of communities of color by law enforcement. To address the root causes of the civil unrest that took place over the summer, we have to acknowledge and address issues of racial injustice while working toward effective police accountability reforms. That’s more than we can say for Senate Republicans who have publicly described racism as a ‘sidebar’ and held one-sided hearings.
“The partisan report before the committee today does nothing to further reconciliation and fails to address the root causes of civil unrest. Instead of conducting hearings with broad public and committee member input, the entire hearing and committee process was remarkably limited and far from objective.
“We acknowledge that there are appropriate questions to answer regarding the manner and adequacy of the public official and law enforcement handling of the potential for and response to violence following Mr. Floyd’s death. That analysis should be done in a legitimate and non-partisan process, rather than this farce of a committee process just two weeks before an election. Indeed, it is just electioneering. The State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis have each sent out requests for proposals for expert evaluation, and we look forward to those independent, objective reviews for analysis and guidance.
“We fully reject the partisan report presented by Senate Republicans and its conclusions, which were described as opinions by one of its authors. To underscore the illegitimacy of this political grandstanding and the resulting report, we are not participating in today’s Senate Republican press conference they refer to as a ‘joint committee hearing.’”