Minneapolis Democrats failed to endorse a candidate for mayor at their recent convention. My guess is that Mayor Betsy Hodges’s prospects for reelection must approach zero asymptotically in the wake of the inexplicable and so far unexplained killing of Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. Two weeks after the killing we remain in the dark.
Nine Democrats including Hodges are vying for the honor of municipal leadership. It’s the lunatic left time of the season in Minneapolis. The mayoral field offers candidates of various identities staking their claims in the identity politics sweepstakes.
State representative Raymond Dehn came in first in the endorsement balloting. Dehn identifies as a former drug addict, reformed criminal and dogged community organizer. Dehn attributes his early conviction for burglary to his habit. He says that he received a full pardon for his conviction in 1982, though he condemns the unfairness of it: “I am privileged. I live as if I never committed an offense. It’s systemically unfair.”
Dehn does not shy away from talking about his conviction. It endows him with the authority to opine as he did in a recent press release:
“Crime is not a product of individual morality but the consequence of scarcity in our society,” Dehn said in a press release. “We must divest resources, disarm officers, and dismantle the inherent violence of our criminal justice system which continues to uphold white supremacy. Our approach to public safety must reflect a belief that our communities are safer when they have housing, clean air and water, access to education and employment, and quality healthcare.”
Dehn has “clarified” his call for disarmament:
“I support demilitarization of our forces. I support rethinking whether every officer needs to carry a gun. I believe public safety will be best served if fewer officers carry guns…I am not advocating against officers having access to a gun in situations–such as when encountering a deadly weapon–where they need to be armed to keep themselves and others safe.”
In Minneapolis the man and the moment may have met.