On Tuesday night while most Americans watched the Virginia election between Glenn Youngkin (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) Minnesota’s largest city held an important election of its own. Voters in Minneapolis rejected a measure that if passed would have replaced police officers with a Department of Public Safety.
Context: Minneapolis was the epicenter of massive George Floyd protests in 2020. Since then communities across the country have been divided over controversial movements to defund police department’s with supporters arguing that police are more often than not racist against minorities and pose a threat to the community.
The proposed initiative would have removed language from the charter related to the agency, including minimum funding requirements, and would have divided control of public safety between the mayor and the City Council.
What Happened: On Tuesday, the initiative failed to garner the 51% support needed to pass.
According to Fox News, the question failed 57% to 44%, according to the results released by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office with 133 of 136 precincts reporting.
Why It Matters: Tuesday’s failed push to make major changes to police departments marks the city’s first chance to give input on police since the George Floyd protests.
Residents of Minneapolis have been experiencing an uptick in crime in the city, a trend seen across the country. The failed initiative highlights the fact Americans do not want an overhaul of police despite progressive politicians’ repeated calls to defund police departments across the country.
Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar advocated for the initiative but was ultimately unsuccessful.