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Charter commission to Minneapolis city council: Maybe slooooow down on abolishing the police
Ed MorrisseyPosted at 8:41 am on July 29, 2020
Has the city of Minneapolis recovered its sanity? Not quite yet, but yesterday’s vote at the Charter Commission may have postponed the biggest insanity. A committee voted 4-2 against moving forward with the charter change ballot measure that would have allowed the city council to abolish the police department in November. Instead, the committee wants the commission to get more time to investigate alternatives — and that means the earliest the ballot measure could appear would be in 2021’s municipal elections:
The charter commission could still vote to pass one of the two proposals in the full session. The city council proposal would change the charter so that they could eliminate the police immediately and altogether. The Charter Commission floated a proposal that would only eliminate the staffing requirements in the charter but would require the city to still have a police force, with the intention to eliminate that requirement once the council figured out what they want to do about public safety.
The lack of an actual alternative to police is what convinced the working group to slow the process down. However, there might have been another reason to put it off:
Actually, what this will do will be to allow voters to consider such a ballot measure at the same time as they’re considering what to do with the council members who pushed it. That might be the wisest choice that the commission could make; it wouldn’t stop the idea of abolishing a major-city police department, but it would make city council members think about what voters might do to their careers first. That would make the 2021 election a referendum entirely focused on the performance of the incumbents, and if violence continues at its current pace, neither the ballot measure nor those careers will last long.
That might be even more true if the amateur armed groups that have sprung up in the vacuum left by retreating police continue to grow:
So far there haven’t been any shootings in connection with the armed patrols, but it won’t take long for problems to arise. Police at least have training on issues like reasonable suspicion and probable cause when detaining or interrogating people. What happens when two different groups of armed citizen patrols come across each other? For that matter, what happens when they see something suspicious? The idea of armed citizen patrols might sound good in theory, but let’s not forget that the same impulse is how we ended up with Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, and for that matter Trayvon Martin’s. Armed citizens get enough training to defend themselves and their homes, but they don’t get training to do police work, and asking them to replace police in keeping the peace without the police is asking for trouble.
When something like that happens — and it will — the city council will have no one to blame but themselves. Hopefully the voters will demand an end to this insanity long before something fatal happens.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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