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Minneapolis can ask voters to remake police department, top court rules By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Minneapolis Police Department vehicle is parked near the boarded-up Hennepin County Public Safety Facility, while the fifth day of trial continues for Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder charges in the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis,

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that voters could consider a ballot measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer.

One day before the start of early voting in Minnesota, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an 11-hour ruling. It overturned a federal judge, who had deemed the Question 2 language confusing and misleading.

Following the death of Floyd (46), on May 25, 2020 under Derek Chauvin’s knee, members of the Democrat-dominated council crafted the amendment to the charter.

Floyd’s murder, which was captured on video by a passer-by, sparked violent protests across the country over police brutality and especially towards young Black men.

A requirement in the Minneapolis charter that a city have a police force with at least one officer would be removed by the proposed amendment.

Minneapolis could replace the requirement with an amendment that would establish a new department that follows a “comprehensive approach to public health.”

Critics of this measure include Democratic Governor Tim Walz who believes the Department of Public Safety’s duties and personnel were too vague.

Chauvin was convicted in April of Floyd’s murder. In June, he was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.

Earlier this week, Chauvin, now 45, and three other former Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s violent arrest pleaded not guilty to federal charges

On charges related to Floyd’s death, the three remaining officers will face trial in state court.

On Thursday, Chauvin pleaded not guilty in a separate criminal case to violating the civil rights of a Minneapolis teenager by using a neck restraint similar to the one that killed Floyd.

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