MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new Minnesota poll finds residents are in favor of the controversial charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety.
The Star Tribune, MPR, KARE 11 and Frontline poll found 49% of those polled support the amendment. Forty-one percent of those polled are against it and 10% are undecided.
The charter amendment says the Minneapolis police will be replaced with a Department of Public Safety. But exactly what that would look like is not clear.
Some supporters of the Charter Amendment say a yes vote won’t really defund the police because the Department of Public Safety will be funded to protect people and could include some police officers. But opponents say the amendment will absolutely defund the existing police department.
Don and Sandra Samuels are the prominent north Minneapolis couple who have led the legal fight against the amendment. They are urging a no vote on the amendment, saying the police department needs change, but it also needs to stay as a police department. They were guests on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“We want reform, we demand reform, we want reform and protection,” Sondra Samuels said. “And what you’re seeing in the polling I think reflects some of the lack of understanding of the intention of the ballot amendment.”
This same poll did show that white respondents favor getting rid of the police more than Black respondents.
One factor the poll did not apparently include in its questioning: the explanatory note that voters will see on their ballots saying a yes vote will also eliminate the job of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. This same poll shows that Arradondo is extremely popular, with 55% approving of the job he is doing and 22% disapproving.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.