Walz, Flanagan call for legislative unity, action on police reform | KSTP.com

Walz, Flanagan call for legislative unity, action on police reform

Created: May 12, 2021 06:26 AM

With time running out on the legislative session, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan will call on lawmakers to come together on policing reform Wednesday.

The DFL-controlled House has already advanced a public safety bill and lawmakers are now working with the Senate in conference committee to move something through.

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Wednesday's push comes after the Republican-controlled Senate recently canceled police reform hearings.

As of now, it appears some lawmakers on both sides aren't willing to budge.

However, as Walz has made clear, he believes the proposals will save lives.

"Some of them just strike such a sense of common sense," Walz said. "Let's figure out a way to get not in the situation that Daunte Wright was in. If we can figure it out for minor traffic violations or misdemeanors, let's find a better way to get the folks in a restorative track and give the support that is necessary rather than the confrontation that can lead to the heartbreaking outcome that we saw."

Wednesday, Walz and other DFL lawmakers will join religious and business leaders to call for police reform with time running out this session. It comes after multiple high-profile deaths involving interactions with police. 

The governor wants lawmakers to keep the proposals in the House's public safety bill. That includes adjustments on the use of no-knock warrants, limiting traffic stops for certain minor violations, and statewide policy covering how officers respond to protests.

Earlier this week, some law enforcement officials across the state told lawmakers they're concerned about the bill.

"As each of the police reform proposals are considered, what proposals will lead to safer communities with less crime as well as more help for victims of crime and which proposals needlessly demonize those who protect and serve," Brian Peters, with the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said.

The proposal also includes better police training and local oversight boards. Walz and other lawmakers will make their case at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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