The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee advanced HF 1078, an omnibus public safety bill which would improve police accountability and help prevent gun violence. The advancement of this legislation comes as the state is reeling from the killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, at a traffic stop less than 10 miles from the courthouse where former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, is being tried for the murder of George Floyd. Notably, the Senate advanced their public safety omnibus bill today without any police reform measures.
“We can’t sit by as Black men, women, and children continue to be killed, wounded, and traumatized by law enforcement in our communities,” said Molly Leutz, a volunteer leader with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The House omnibus is an important step toward increasing transparency and accountability within our police departments, and we’re grateful for the leadership of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus and United Black Legislative Caucus, and the commitment from House leaders in advancing these reforms. We urge the Senate to follow suit.”
See some of the important provisions included in this bill below:
- Clarifies that local governments can establish civilian oversight councils and gives them the power to investigate and recommend disciplinary action against law enforcement officers.
- Strengthens the rules for body cameras, including preventing the deletion of footage or withholding footage from next of kin or legal representatives.
- Prohibits police officers from having white supremicist or other extremist affiliations.
- Creates and funds an Innovation in Community Safety Grant Program to support anti-violence initiatives.
- Expands law enforcement reporting and training requirements for bias-motivated crimes.
- Strengthens crisis-intervention training requirements for law enforcement responses to calls involving individuals with dementia.
- Strengthens the rules for the database on police misconduct incidents to help ensure transparency.
- Expands Minnesota’s violent hate crime law to cover crimes committed against a person because of their ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or national origin which will help ensure people convicted of hate crimes cannot access firearms.
- Establishes standard rules reporting failures to intervene in unnecessary uses of force.
Black Americans are shot and killed by police at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. In an average year, police fatally shoot 11 people in Minnesota.
More information about police violence is available here. Additional information on gun violence in Minnesota is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how Minnesota’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.