The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the way for voters in Minneapolis to decide on the future of policing in the city where George Floyd was killed, just ahead of the start of early and absentee voting, reports NPR. A proposed charter amendment would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety that “could include” police officers “if necessary” and would remove the city charter’s requirement that Minneapolis has a police department with a minimum staffing level.
The new department would be free to take a fresh approach to public safety that could reduce excessive policing against communities of color. However, opponents of the amendment said the ballot language leaves too many important questions unexplained for voters about how the new department would be implemented, led, staffed and funded. Yes 4 Minneapolis, which spearheaded the initiative, said the department would continue to exist under current city ordinances until the City Council passed new laws to establish the new agency, and that the council could keep the force in place as long as necessary for an orderly transition.