Speed Reads

2021 elections

Minneapolis rejects measure to replace police force, Austin rejects measure to expand police force

Voters in Minneapolis rejected a proposal Tuesday that would have replacing the city's police department with a new Department of Public Safety, a push fueled by the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer. Opponents of the initiative, including Mayor Jacob Frey (D), argued that there was no concrete plan to create a new public safety department. The part of the city charter that would have been changed requires Minneapolis to have a minimum number of officers based on population. 

Voters in Austin, meanwhile, overwhelmingly rejected a proposed amendment Tuesday that would have required the the Austin Police Department to have at least two officers for every 1,000 residents — which, at current levels, would have required hiring 300 to 700 new officers over the next year, at an estimated cost of $54 million to $120 million a year. Proposition A, which failed by a 2-to-1 margin, was put on the ballot by a Republican-aligned group called Save Austin Now. 

As Radley Balko notes, there is a little something for everyone in Tuesday's police-related ballot initiatives.