Republicans and Democrats over the weekend pretty much agreed on a compromise police reform package — removing one of the final obstacles to completing the state budget before the July 1st deadline. Democratic Representative Carlos Mariani from Saint Paul says what the Senate agreed to is “nowhere near what the House had”:
“That’s pretty much as far as we were able to get…. It’s a great disappointment…. There were a number of common-sense proposals, some that enjoyed elements of bipartisan support.”
Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the Senate doesn’t want to do anything that’s “anti-police” or takes away needed tools to keep the streets safe:
“We think that’s frankly the number-one issue right now, is getting ahold of the crime that’s rampant throughout the Twin Cities area in particular. Now’s not the time to take away any of the tools that they use.”
Governor Tim Walz says the agreement builds on police accountability measures passed last summer but “there is more work to be done to improve policing in our state. We are fully committed to continuing that work,” he says.
Under the agreement:
– No-knock warrants are not eliminated but their use by law enforcement is more closely regulated
– A police misconduct database is modified to create an “early warning” system for problem officers
– 9-1-1 operators are required to refer mental health crisis calls to “crisis teams” when appropriate
Traffic stop rules are not changed. That debate was sparked by the police killing of Daunte Wright.
Still up in the air as of Sunday night: whether more law enforcement officers will have body cameras
Gazelka says body cam language “may not be completely worked out” yet, but says he believes they’ll be able to work through that issue. Mariani says if they can’t get to an agreement with the Senate…
“It will certainly be my intention not to attempt to move that forward.”
Gazelka says Daunte Wright’s killing was a “tragic accident,” but a proposal to change traffic stop rules is “not ready” to become law:
“In the just last year or so, there were over 900 guns confiscated from stops like that.”
Mariani responds a bill the House worked on with law enforcement had bipartisan support, but…
“The Senate held not a single hearing.:”
Gazelka says he’s willing to have a hearing next year.