Minneapolis citizens overwhelmingly voted “NO” on the measure that would have abolished the police department despite Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) support.
The voters in Minneapolis voted against Question 2 by 57 percent, 76,820 votes versus 59,196 votes in favor (with 130 of 136 precincts reporting). The amendment would have been the most extreme anti-police measure to pass in the United States. The city charter would have “removed the Minneapolis Police Department and replaced it with a Department of Public Safety,” according to Fox 9. The amendment would also have eliminated the position of police chief and the minimum police staffing requirement.
According to Ballotpedia, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) would have dramatically altered law enforcement in Minneapolis, removing the police department’s minimum funding requirement in a city that has seen a 286 percent increase in carjackings since 2020:
Question 2 would have replaced the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety (DPS). The DPS would be responsible for “a comprehensive public health approach to safety,” including the employment of licensed police officers if needed to fulfill the department’s responsibilities. A Commissioner of Public Safety would have led the DPS and would have been nominated by the mayor and approved by the city council. The ballot initiative would have also provided for the fire police to be housed with the DPS. Question 2 would have removed the minimum funding requirement for police (0.0017 per resident) from the Minneapolis Charter.
Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey opposed the measure; however, it received enthusiastic support from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
The Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign received $2.97 million in donations, including $650,000 from the George Soros Open Society Policy Center. Conversely, All of Mpls, the PAC opposed to the measure, received just $1.59 million. According to the Star Tribune, even though Gov. Tim Walz (D) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) publicly opposed the measure, they refused to campaign against it openly.
“They would just as soon not get involved in Minneapolis politics and be out front on an issue that’s, no matter what position they take, guaranteed to upset some of their supporters,” said Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota political science professor. “If they were to be actively campaigning, it would also really highlight the divide within the Democratic Party.”
Later Klobuchar clarified that she had not been asked to campaign against the measure. “The police chief cannot report to a dozen bosses, and I have made my opposition to this amendment clear from the beginning,” she said.