Criminal Justice Reform Legislation Falls Short

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Late Tuesday evening, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation addressing criminal justice and policing reform. In response, Senator Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) released the following statement.

“The world is watching as Minnesota responds to the tragic murder of George Floyd, and we cannot fail to meet this moment in delivering real changes to criminal justice and policing in our state. In my four years as a state senator, I have never heard more compelling, passionate, and urgent discussions than those last night. My colleagues offered spirited, well-informed debate, and I listened.

What I heard was that the legislation does not go far enough to address the concerns of the members of our community. Each and every Minnesotan deserves equal protection under the law, and to feel safe in their community, but this is simply not the case for far too many people. We have a responsibility to hear the words of those who have been most affected by injustice, and to take action.

It was only a few days ago that thousands of young people were protesting on the steps of the capitol, at a rally organized by their peers. This rally was attended by people of all races, gender identities, and from urban, suburban, and rural communities. These young leaders are organizing and mobilizing, not just with these rallies, but with mutual aid, voter registration, and direct action. As elected officials, we should follow their example, and not nibble around the edges but instead act boldly and urgently to deliver the change that is demanded.”

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Steve Cwodzinski represents District 48 in the southwest Twin Cities metro.

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