The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) responded to Minneapolis residents voting against replacing the police with a Department of Public Safety. The ballot question, sponsored by Yes 4 Minneapolis, asked if residents wanted to replace the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Minnesota Sun reported that Minneapolis voters rejected the ballot initiative in the November 3 general election.

MPPOA said in a statement following the election results, “This should be a wake up call to politicians who want to simply abolish and defund police departments. Police officers serve their communities and place public safety and justice for crime victims at the forefront of their daily actions. Let’s work together for increased safety for all, instead of pursuing reckless policies which only empower criminals.”

A Minnesota Republican candidate for governor, State Senator Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) also released a statement about the Minneapolis police reform results. Benson said she was “grateful the people of Minneapolis rejected this misguided effort to defund our police.”

Benson added, “Minnesotans want to feel safe in their communities [and] we would have been less safe if this were to have passed.”

Benson also called out Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) for failing to “stand up against his radical base and actively campaign against this amendment to defund our police.”

While many celebrated the failure of the ballot question, some tweets from local activists called for more violence following the election. One activist reportedly tweeted, “Do you want more burned precincts because this is how you get more burned precincts.”

Had the initiative passed, it would have completely restructured the way policing is done in Minneapolis. The Sun reported that the explanatory note from the authors of the ballot questions said that some of the proposed “peace officers” would be licensed police officers.

It also says the proposed department would “include a comprehensive range of public health tools (for example: mental health responders, substance abuse specialists, violence interrupters, and prevention specialists) to fulfill the responsibilities of the Department of Public Safety.”

The group, Yes 4 Minneapolis, was also funded in part by one of George Soros’ organizations. The Sun reported in July that “An arm of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Open Society Policy Center, donated $500,000 to Yes 4 Minneapolis.” The group, the Open Society Policy Center, also took part in virtual discussions to work on justice-related programs in Minneapolis.

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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Minneapolis Police” by Minneapolis Police Department.