ISAIAH Statement on MN Legislature Police Accountability Legislation
SAINT PAUL, July 21, 2020 — In the wake of the horrific police murder of George Floyd and after weeks of pressure, the Minnesota Legislature passed a package of police accountability measures late last night (House)/early this morning (Senate).
ISAIAH is proud to have joined with nearly 100 other organizations in supporting the package proposed by the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Legislators Caucus, which passed the Minnesota House after substantial deliberation in the first special session.
The final package included significant policy change, including a ban on chokeholds and warrior-style training, mandatory duty to intercede and to report officer use of force, creation of a new unit to investigate officer-involved deaths, reforms of the POST Board to increase community involvement and oversight as well as data collection, increased training for mental health and autism awareness, evaluation of effectiveness of police training, and a step towards reforming arbitrations of police discipline.
ISAIAH Communications Director, Minister JaNaé Bates said, “It is disappointing that it took so long, fell substantially short of the POCI caucus original package, which itself was acknowledged to be a set of first steps. Perhaps the most disturbing was the ways in which Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka continued to stoke fears and division while blocking voting rights to the disenfranchised and repeating the misleading claim that the House package included provisions to defund or abolish the police.
“It is worth celebrating the global movement of millions of people who have protested police brutality, the nearly 100 organizations in Minnesota that pressed the legislature, and the leadership of the legislature’s POCI caucus and the Minnesota House leadership. ISAIAH will continue to press for more substantive change to laws governing policing in Minnesota in the 2021 session and beyond, until all Minnesotans, especially Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous Minnesotans, are safe from police brutality.”
ISAIAH is a statewide organization comprised of over 200 congregations, 30 mosques, 200 childcare centers, and dozens of barber shops in Minnesota. Altogether, these institutions represent over half a million Minnesotans. Our mission is to enable people to work together to organize and advocate for racial, social and economic justice.