MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A progressive coalition has released new polling information that says a majority of residents in Minneapolis want to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.

The survey, conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group and commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and The Fairness Project, comes during a critical week where we will get an indication of whether or not Minneapolis voters will get a say on the issue this November.

When given a short description of the amendment, of which would remove the funding requirement for police officers from the city’s charter and create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, 56% of voters said they would support the change, 30% said they would not and 14% were undecided.

Further, when undecided voters were asked which direction they lean more toward — support for the amendment grew to 61% while opposition rose by just 2 points (32%).

According to the independent Cook Political Report, there are roughly 26% more Democrats in the city than Republicans and the city council is already behind the proposal to dismantle the police.

This all comes as the Minneapolis Charter Commissioner will decide this Wednesday if this measure will go on the November ballot.

“Today I speak to the nine of the 15 members who have been publicly skeptical of this process and proposal. We all agree as Minneapolis residents we need to build safe communities, we should have a voice and be allowed to vote,” Keion Franklin said.

So far in its Zoom meetings, a number of  Charter Commission members have indicated they need more time and are not ready to put the issue before voters.

“The fact is this has been on the books for 60 years and as such we are being asked in the space of two weeks to get rid of it,” Andrew Kozak said.

But other Charter Commission members say all they would be doing is letting the voters decide the fate of their police department.

“This is a time like no other in our city’s history. I think to prevent people from being allowed to vote on an amendment to the charter is not the proper course,” Christopher Smith said.

If the Charter Commission makes a recommendation to the city council, the council would begin an accelerated process so that they could get on the November ballot. That would have to happen all before August 21.

Esme Murphy

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