Updates: Police reform legislation at the Minnesota State Legislature

After the murder of George Floyd last May, the Minnesota legislature saw momentum in police reform, passing a ban on choke holds and neck restraints, end warrior-style police training, and increase data collection around police use of deadly force. The recent death of Daunte Wright by police and the conviction of Derek Chauvin for Floyd’s death have renewed focus on police reform, though there has been pushback by Republicans in the Senate.

North Side Groups Aim At Gun Violence

North Side Minneapolis neighbors took aim at the ways that systemic racism perpetuates the cycle of violence at a forum organized by Protect Minnesota. The forum, which as held at the office of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change on Broadway Avenue, included a call to oppose a bill in the Minnesota State Senate which they say criminalizes youth of color, rather than focusing on prevention.

Rally For Anti-Bullying Bill Draws Hundreds To Capitol

Hundreds of mostly young people rally at the Capitol in support of a bill that strengthens Minnesota’s anti-bullying laws in schools. More than 11 percent of Minnesota students report they are bullied weekly, says the bill’s chief author, Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis).

Gun Safety Advocate Michael Paymar: Still Shooting For Gun Safety

The Minnesota Legislature’s leading proponent of tougher gun-safety measures, Rep. Michael Paymar, announced last week that he won’t run for re-election next year, but he plans to go out with gun-control proposals blazing. Paymar, a nine-term DFLer from St. Paul, made another in a series of attempts at Tuesday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security to impose tighter controls over guns being carried into the Capitol before — as many legislators privately say they fear — someone gets shot. Paymar proposed that guns be banned completely from the Capitol (except for law enforcement officers) and that metal-detectors and security stations be installed to keep guns out. The proposal failed on a tie 2-2 vote of the six-member advisory committee, with one member absent and another — Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, abstaining, she said, because the measure might come before her court some day.

Minnesota State Capitol Building Dome

Citizen Media Now Has A Seat In The Capitol Press Room

This week The UpTake becomes the first “on-line only” media organization to have an office in the Minnesota Capitol press room. The citizen-fueled, non-profit, non-partisan, news organization’s move into the press room had been delayed for nearly a year pending a review of Minnesota’s media space rental policy.