Minneapolis voters overwhelmingly defeated an amendment on Tuesday aiming to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and replace trained law enforcement officers with social workers.
Question Two asked voters whether they supported an overhaul of the city’s law enforcement system by replacing the MPD with a “Department of Public Safety.” Under the proposal, which was created to dismantle policing following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, leftist Mayor Jacob Frey or his significantly more progressive competitor and the City Council would manage the DPS. The DPS would be staffed by mental health and social workers who would take a “comprehensive public health approach” to fighting crime and only include traditional police officers “if necessary.”
Polling suggested that 55 percent of voters in the blue city were not keen on reducing the number of officers in their areas, especially due to a national rise in urban crime. That number rose to 56 percent or 80,506 voters who were against the proposal after all 136 Minneapolis precincts reported on election day. Despite the city’s leftist track record, only 62,813 voters, or 43 percent, said they wanted to see the police department go.
Minneapolis voters may have hesitated to let go of their city’s law enforcement, but voters in Austin gladly voted against a measure that would have increased the city’s police staffing to better address crime.
A poll from the Pew Research Center published last week indicated that a rising number of Americans in general, 47 percent, want police spending in their areas to increase. That number is up 16 points from the beginning of the summer of rage in June 2020.
Twenty-one percent of those who said they support funding hikes said the law enforcement spending should go up “a lot,” citing concerns about rising crime. Even 34 percent of Democrats agreed they wanted more funding for police moving forward.