SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that voters in Minneapolis may decide on whether or not to abolish the police department as it’s currently configured in the upcoming municipal elections.
“We’re incredibly thrilled that the people of Minneapolis have their democracy honored,” JaNaé Bates, a spokeswoman for Yes 4 Minneapolis, which wrote the proposal, told the Star Tribune. “The Supreme Court recognized that we were on the right side of the law, we were on the right side of democracy, and we’re going to be [on] the right side of history as we move forward.”
The state’s highest court overturned a lower court’s ruling that rejected ballot language for not sufficiently describing the measure’s effects.
Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson said the language in the proposal was “unreasonable and misleading” in the order last week, Law Officer reported.
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If the measure passes, it would do away with the Minneapolis charter requirement to have a police department with a minimum level of staffing, Fox reported. Minneapolis would instead replace the police department with a public safety department “that employs a comprehensive public health approach.”
The city is currently under an order from Judge Anderson to employ 730 sworn police officers by June 30 of next year, Law Officer reported. The measure would presumably negate the order since the charter requirements would be replaced with new prescriptions for the city.