Members of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus (POCI) at the Minnesota Legislature are demanding hearings and a vote on additional police reforms, well before the fast-approaching end of the 2021 regular session. Minneapolis Democrat Patricia Torres Ray says they don’t want discussion left until end-of-session “trading”:
“You give me this, I give you that. Well, Black people are being killed by the police — so, no, not this year. We want hearings to happen now. We want the public to be involved.”
Governor Tim Walz is also urging Republicans to “put politics aside to pass these much-needed reforms on their own, independent from unrelated bills.” Senate G-O-P leaders have said there will be a discussion of possible police reforms during negotiations on the public safety budget — but have not yet said when that conference committee will start meeting.
Torres Ray says additional police reform measures got strong support when the House assembled its public safety budget bill:
“If the Senate didn’t have a hearing, senators were just really not able to hear this public support, and it’s very, very unfortunate.”