Skip to main content

Minneapolis residents WILL vote on future of MPD following Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court decision reverses a previous action by a Hennepin County Judge.
Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents will vote on replacing the city’s police department after a last-minute ruling from the Supreme Court, just hours before early voting was set to start.

A Hennepin County judge ruled against ballot language regarding the public safety charter amendment earlier this week, but Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea issued an order Thursday that reversed that decision, confirming that the ballot question would be accepted residents begin early voting on Friday.

The phrasing of the ballot question has been the topic of much debate since it was placed on the ballot after a petition garnered more than 22,000 signatures.

The question asks voters if the Minneapolis Police Department should be replaced with a new department of public safety. This involves amending the city’s charter to eliminate funding and staffing requirements for MPD.

Among those who have brought legal challenges to the ballot question are former city council member Don Samuels and his wife, nonprofit CEO Sondra Samuels.

Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson sided with opponents of the question in a Tuesday order, calling the language "unreasonable and misleading."

The decision triggered multiple appeals to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, with those calling for the reinstatement of the question noting that its removal from the ballot has the potential to disenfranchise thousands of voters.

In the order, Gildea stated that the challenges to the question do not meet the standards required to keep it off the ballot.

“The question before us is a legal one,” Gildea wrote.

Political group Yes 4 Minneapolis, which spearheaded the movement to collect signatures to put the question before voters in the first place, called the ruling a victory.

The language appearing on the ballot reads:

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the Police Department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety, with those specific functions to be determined by the Mayor and City Council by ordinance; which will not be subject to exclusive mayoral power over its establishment, maintenance, and command; and which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

It also includes the following explanatory note:

This amendment would create a Department of Public Safety combining public safety functions through a comprehensive public health approach to be determined by the Mayor and Council. The department would be led by a Commissioner nominated by the Mayor and appointed by the Council. The Police Department, and its chief, would be removed from the City Charter. The Public Safety Department could include police officers, but the minimum funding requirement would be eliminated.

Follow Bring Me The News on Facebook

The language of the question has been amended by the Council multiple times, including after multiple vetos from Mayo Jacob Frey. Frey called previous language vague after the explanatory note was temporarily left out of the question.

While Frey has been an opponent of the charter amendment as a whole, he called the Supreme Court decision the "right call," according to FOX 9.

“The charter amendment itself is fundamentally bad policy. But that doesn't change the fact that the petitioners and city officials have met their legal requirements,” Frey said in a statement.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

Related

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents will vote on replacing MPD with new public safety department

The Minneapolis City Council approved language for the ballot question Friday.

Minneapolis City Hall

After 2 vetoes from Frey, city council approves ballot question to replace MPD

The council had to work quickly Friday as it faced an 11:59 deadline and two vetoes from Mayor Jacob Frey.

Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis council committee approves potential November ballot questions

The ballot questions relate to rent control, a potential new public safety department and changing the city's government structure.

3rd Precinct

City will not move forward with proposed MPD temporary precinct

The decision to end negotiations on a property to house MPD's Third Precinct comes after community pushback.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Here's the public safety ballot question Mpls. voters will see

New language had to be approved Tuesday after a last-minute rejection from a judge.

Phillipe Cunningham

Mpls councilor receiving 'death threats' over proposal to replace MPD

Philippe Cunningham is calling for a new public safety department.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Frey, Arradondo announce stricter reporting for MPD use-of-force incidents

Officers must report any de-escalation attempts when force is used.

Minneapolis City Hall

Mpls. City Council passes cuts to police budget, maintains officer staffing levels

The City Council voted to keep target staffing levels at 888 after Mayor Jacob Frey threatened to veto the budget.