MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) — a group representing more than 10,000 public safety officials — has issued a response to Ramsey County’s new policy for non-public safety traffic stops.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced that a new countywide policy will end prosecution of most felony crimes that are found during a non-safety traffic stop.READ MORE: 1 Of 5 Men Injured In Minneapolis Shooting Dies
“These types of stops disproportionately affect black and brown communities and undermine the trust in the work police do every day to serve and protect the public,” Choi’s office said in a release. “The new policy was developed in collaboration with local law enforcement, philanthropic leaders, county residents and national partners such as the Vera Institute of Justice.”
Following the press conference, MPPOA Executive Director Brian Peters released a statement in opposition to the new policy.
“Basically, the county attorney just announced his office won’t uphold the law and won’t prosecute those break it,” he said. “That’s absurd, and is a slap in the face to victims of crime. Ramsey County residents be warned: those that break the law won’t even get a slap on the wrist — they’ll get a high-five from the county attorney and be left to commit more, and more serious offenses. Reduction of crime and public safety for all should be our focus as the crime rate escalates – and this isn’t it.”READ MORE: Hopkins Police Investigating Fatal Shooting At Apartment Building
The Minnesota House GOP released a statement from Rep. Peggy Scott, the Republican Lead on the House Judiciary Committee.
“It’s outrageous that County Attorney Choi plans to give a free pass for criminals who commit felony level offenses,” Scott said. “A felony is a felony, regardless of whether it comes from a traffic stop or catching a criminal in the act. This won’t make our communities safer, and is yet another example of Democrats signaling to criminals that they can commit violent crimes and don’t have to worry about being held accountable.”
Senate Public Safety and Judiciary Committee Chair Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, also released a statement.MORE NEWS: Sheriff: Man Dies From Suicide After Allegedly Killing Roommate, Roommate's Father In Northern Minnesota
“The public should be outraged at this change,” Limmer said. “The number one role of government is the safety of its citizens. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi should be voted out of office. It’s his job to put criminals away, not leave them on the streets. Violent crime is still on the rise and this is absolutely the wrong direction prosecutors should be going. This change is an offense to the victims of crime- including the people of color, children, and those in poverty. It endangers law enforcement officers doing their jobs, while putting innocent people at risk.”