The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both parts of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, today released the following statement after the Minnesota State House and Senate passed HF 1, a bill to reform policing in Minnesota following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature:
“It is far past time for our state leaders to acknowledge, address, and act on the police violence that is disproportionately killing Black people in Minnesota,” said Molly Leutz, volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “HF 1 is an important first step down a long road toward improving public safety, fostering community trust, and reducing shootings by police, and we hope the legislature will continue this work in future sessions.”
HF 1 came in response to widespread protests in Minnesota and across the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Black residents make up less than 20% of the population in Minneapolis and in St. Paul but are disproportionately impacted by police use of force. Since 2008, Black people were the subject of 63% of officer-involved shootings and police use of force incidents in Minneapolis. And in St. Paul, Black people were the subjects of nearly a third of the use of force incidents in 2016 and 2017. 84 people have been killed by police between 2013 and 2019 in Minnesota.
Nationwide, Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings, including provisions in HF 1. The bill would improve community oversight over law enforcement, establish an independent state body to investigate law enforcement uses of force, establish a law enforcement officer’s duty to intervene, increase tools available for officers at risk of future misconduct, and require peace officers to be trained in crisis intervention, among other provisions.