St. Paul, Minn.— Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) released the following statement in response to Senate Republicans’ complete disregard of concerns and ideas from the People of Color and Indigenous people (POCI) caucus in pushing through a reform package that ignores racial inequities and inherent issues present in our criminal justice system.
“I was very disappointed in the package Senate Republicans brought forth today. Republicans put together a weak package of bills without listening to the concerns and input of Black people and people of color. Out of the many amendments we offered, Senate Republicans only took two small amendments. One for expanding the number of POST board members and one for a limited pilot program for police officer training to include crisis intervention and mental illness training. This training sunsets in two years.
Sadly, the Senate Republicans refused to compromise and consider numerous floor amendments to make the five bills we heard today stronger and didn’t consider any legislation to change the structural racism that contributed to the deaths of Black men and women. They voted against banning chokeholds, voted against protecting police officers who report incidences of excess of force, voted against the use of deadly force, voted against grants for communities, and voted against warrior-style training, Instead, Republicans pushed their package of weak reforms that will do very little to protect the people of my community.
I voted against all the weak bills Senate Republican’s put forth but the POST Board bill. The time is now to pass transformational legislation to change the structural racism that has contributed to the deaths of Black men and women in our communities. The voices of the POCI caucus deserve to be heard. Even though I voted ‘no’, their bills all passed. It was truly a missed opportunity to do some good things and fails the communities we had the opportunity to protect.”