Senate Republicans moved a bill forward this week that would establish the crime of carjacking. Carjacking is already illegal under state law, and it seems unlikely that this bill will empower law enforcement in catching or charging carjackers – rather it establishes mandatory minimums which have been proven ineffective in deterring crime. Even Senate Republicans said this bill is about optics, and that criminals will know that Senate Republicans are “being tough on crime” despite the bill not being effective in actually reducing carjackings.
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s communities are still waiting for approaches to preventing crime, which must address the root causes of crime, like lack of opportunity and poverty. Addressing these issues requires investments in youth intervention programs, fully funded public schools, and building an economy that offers ample opportunities regardless of zip code. This also requires aggressive action to reduce gun violence and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people, domestic abusers, and those who may harm themselves, while also building accountability between our police and local communities.
Senate DFLers will continue to focus on bold proposals that not only address the uptick in crime the state is seeing but also prevent crime in the future, ensuring all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities. (SF 2573)