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Charter Commission Rejects City Council Plan To Change Policing In Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A proposal to change policing in the city of Minneapolis has been officially rejected by the Charter Commission. The Minneapolis City Council was hoping for an amendment.

Since early summer, members of the Minneapolis Charter Commission has been investigating the call from city leaders to change policing in the city of Minneapolis.

"There was no evidence that we were able to collect that showed how the charter change specifically would facilitate police reform," Charter Commissioner Andrea Rubenstein said.

Rubenstein says the commission declined to bring the concept before voters and now reject the amendment all together. Rubenstein says there were some missing pieces.

"Things that haven't happened yet that we would need to take into account before considering what would be useful as a charter change to facilitate reform," Rubenstein said.

She points to the investigation into Minneapolis Police by the State's Civil Rights Commission, as well as a lawsuit by city residents for failure to keep the required number of officers on the street by city charter, as just two of the reasons behind rejecting the amendment.

"It all started with George Floyd's killing," Rubenstein said.

Six days later, Minneapolis City Council went to Powderhorn park and announced a movement to defund and dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.

"I stand by the commitment that I made in the Powderhorn Park to ending policing as we know it after George Floyd was murdered by the police. We need a wholly needs approach to public safety in Minneapolis," Lisa Bender said.

That new approach has been sidelined for now, but work for police reform continues.

Rubenstein says a separate work group called the Government Structure Group has been formed to address issues raised by the City Council amendment to shift power from the Mayor to City Council for oversight of the police.

WCCO has not heard from the City Council about what's next.

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