Police Accountability Measures Fail to Deliver Necessary Reform

ST. PAUL, Minn. – On Tuesday, the Minnesota Senate passed five bills related to police accountability measures in response to the murder of George Floyd. Despite attempts by members of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and other DFL members of the Senate to include additional community-led proposals, no additional legislation was considered.

In response, Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) released the following statement:

“Every police officer in Minnesota takes an oath to serve and protect their fellow citizens, and the vast majority of officers across our state not only uphold this oath but go above and beyond the call of duty. However, it is abundantly clear that far too many Minnesotans do not receive equal treatment in our current criminal justice system.

I support efforts to strengthen police training standards, ban chokeholds, and add citizens to the Peace Officer Standard Board, but there is more to do. The five bills passed today fall far short of what is demanded of us in this moment. This special session is an opportunity for us to take real action, and we should pass legislation being proposed by the Attorney General’s working group on police-involved deadly force encounters.

We have a responsibility to take steps right now, and I encourage my colleagues across the aisle to reach out to Minnesotans to have a real debate about these issues. These reforms must be based on the lived experiences of Minnesotans of color and our indigenous community.” 

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Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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