A stalemate in Minnesota

In Minnesota, Democrats control the House side of the legislature, but Republicans control the Senate. Thus, if police “reform” is to be enacted, the two parties must agree.

They don’t. Republicans are in favor of reform legislation. They back eleven steps including banning choke holds and requiring officers to stop colleagues from using excessive force. Those two measures alone, if followed, would have saved the life of George Floyd.

But Governor Walz calls the Republican proposal “weak sauce.” He and his fellow Democrats demand a more radical bill.

Among the provisions Democrats insist upon are restoring voting rights to tens of thousands of felons (which has nothing to do with police reform) and placing the state’s attorney general, Keith Ellison, in charge of prosecuting police killings. They also demand a ban on “warrior training” which, as I understand it, teaches police officers how to fight off attacks.

Warrior training is already formally banned in Minneapolis. However, the police union offers a course in it.

The main argument against warrior training is that it teaches an “us against them” mentality. The hypocrisy of this argument when made by those who demonize the police is astonishing. In the current climate, it’s natural for police officers in many areas to feel that it’s “us against them” and natural for a police union to offer warrior training.

The killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta highlights the need to train police officers in combat. Brooks overpowered two officers and stole the taser gun of one of them. Had the officers been able to subdue Brooks, he would almost certainly be alive today.

You can pass all the legislation in the world. At the end of the day, police officers who fear for their lives are going to do what they consider necessary to survive. I’m hardly an expert in policing, but it seems to me that the more options officers have to protect themselves short of using their guns, the better.

But Gov. Walz isn’t worried about this. He says he’s “really, really worried [about] the message [the legislative stalemate] sends to all those tens of thousands of protesters who were on the streets, all those families, and all those people across Minnesota and across the country that expected this one was going to be different.”

Thus, Walz admits that he’s playing to a certain crowd — those “tens of thousands of protesters.” No wonder he can’t reach an agreement with Republicans.

Via Jazz Shaw at Hot Air.