MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis City Council is one step closer to getting a measure on the November ballot that would do away with the Minneapolis Police Department. The ballot measure would replace police with a Public Safety Department.
The measure is so complex and so much is at stake that, for the first time, the council committee also approved a lengthy explanatory note that will also be on the ballot.READ MORE: NYC George Floyd Statue Vandalized, Cleaned Prior To Long-Planned Move To Union Square
The full page of language, including the explanatory note, is one of three charter amendments that could be on the Minneapolis ballot, meaning it could take Minneapolis voters awhile to cast their ballots this November.
This language would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a “department of public safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach and would include police if necessary.”
WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the full explanatory note.
Councilmember Linea Palmisano says the explanatory note is needed.
“We are specifically removing things from the city charter that will be no more, and the public needs to know that,” she said.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin County $3.7M
The ballot measure, along with the explanatory note, moves on to Friday’s full council meeting, where it is expected to pass. Mayor Jacob Frey then has five days to either sign or veto it. He has said in the past that he is against replacing the city’s police department.
“It would have the city council control the police department. It would have the chief of police or the head of public safety report to 14 different people — thirteen council members and the mayor — and it substantially reduces accountability,” Frey said.
Frey added he would not veto the measure because the language is accurate and voters should decide. It’s widely believed the city council has the nine votes needed to override any veto.
Supporters of the movement to defund the police praised the amendment, saying it meets the standard in the petition that got the measure on the ballot.
“Twenty-thousand people signed a petition saying they want to create change,” council member Steve Fletcher said.
Three other ballot referendums — two having to with rent control and stabilization, and another that would increase the power of the Minneapolis mayor’s office — were sent back to the city attorney for more review. Both of those will likely go before this city council committee early next month.MORE NEWS: George Floyd Mural Struck By Lightning In Toledo, Ohio
Friday’s full council meeting is at 9:30 a.m. and it will be a virtual meeting.