Here’s my take on Question 2 on the 2021 Minneapolis Elections ballot: We can take baby steps forward or pretend that the current system is working.
The current system isn’t working. The current system is what killed George Floyd, hunted protestors, is under federal investigation for civil rights abuses, had a ton of officers quit when things got tough, and the remaining officers went on a work slowdown.
Jacob Frey hasn’t fixed this. Betsey Hodges didn’t. Nor did RT Rybak. The Minneapolis Police Department has been dysfunctional for the entire time I’ve lived in Minneapolis (2004) and I have no reason to believe that Frey or Frey’s opponents can reform the current system.
One of the major flaws in the current system is that Minneapolis is required to maintain a minimum number of police officers regardless of how many cops are actually needed or how bad they are at their job. This is a ridiculous rule that’s unique to Minneapolis.
This is why we need to Vote Yes on 2.
Now, here’s the sad part, but also a reason why you should feel comfortable voting Yes on 2 if you’re a bit nervous about this being a radical change: it isn’t. Assuming we Vote Yes on 2, we won’t see radical change. Why? Because the same people who are fighting even the possibility of making a positive change aren’t going away.
The people who’re defending the system that leads to tens of millions of dollars in settlements with victims of the status quo will continue to put up roadblocks, file lawsuits, fearmonger, and have the Charter Commission muddy up reform attempts.
People who think abuse by police is just how things have to work will continue to have the suburbanite StarTribune Editorial Board fighting any attempts to make the city serve all residents with decency.
Some positive reforms will happen but they will be painfully slow.
So, Vote Yes on 2 so we can at least make SOME progress.
We should at least do that after becoming the epicenter of what’s wrong with policing in America.