Civil Rights

COMMENTARY

Horror stories: Shielding long term care facilities from lawsuits would protect the bad actors

BY: and - July 28, 2020

As corporate lobbyists descend on Washington and Saint Paul to help bad actors get shielded from lawsuits, here’s a reminder: immunity isn’t needed to protect businesses that have done the right things. Those businesses that have taken the proper steps to protect themselves and the public are already protected by current law. Immunity is really […]

Charter Commission skeptical of proposal to strip Minneapolis Police Department from city charter

BY: - July 27, 2020

Of the 15 members of the Minneapolis Charter Commission — which will ultimately decide whether residents will get to vote on a measure to dismantle the Police Department — nine of them are publicly cool to the idea. The Minneapolis City Council wants the Charter Commission to let voters delete the Police Department from the city charter, […]

COMMENTARY

The march to martial law has fewer obstacles than you realize

BY: - July 27, 2020

President Trump’s use of federal officers to conduct law enforcement operations in Portland — and his threat to bring them to other U.S. cities, including Chicago — is just a taste of things to come. As he showed in Lafayette Square, Trump has no compunction about calling on federal forces to further his political ends. […]

COMMENTARY

The Minnesota lawsuit against Big Oil is about environmental protection — but also racial justice

BY: - July 27, 2020

Minnesotans place a high value on accountability. In the 1990s, we led the nation by taking Big Tobacco to court for lying about the harms caused by smoking. More recently, we’ve been at the forefront of demands to hold police accountable and change law enforcement systems that brutalize and kill Black people in Minnesota and […]

Couple wears Nazi flags inside Walmart to protest face mask mandate

BY: - July 25, 2020

A couple wore Nazi flags wrapped around their faces into the Walmart in Marshall on Saturday in protest of the state’s mask mandate aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. Raphaela Mueller, a German descendant of a Nazi resister, saw the couple in the store and immediately felt nauseated, she told the Reformer. She approached […]

From the ashes a new sense of purpose on Lake Street

BY: - July 24, 2020

On May 29, KB Balla was working a shift as a firefighter in Brooklyn Center when a friend called with news: He’d just driven down East Lake Street in Minneapolis. That’s where Balla had recently opened his sports bar called Scores. “He called me like, ‘Man, if you can make it out here, come check […]

U.S. Rep. Hagedorn votes against removing confederate statues from U.S. Capitol

BY: - July 23, 2020

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, the GOP member from southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, was the lone no vote from the delegation on a measure calling for the removal of confederate statues around the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber — Republicans from Minnesota’s 6th and 8th congressional districts — joined DFL Reps. […]

Police reforms represent a rare legislative ‘high-water mark’ for Minnesotans of color

BY: - July 23, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a series of police reforms Thursday, capping a weeks-long effort at the Legislature to pass more stringent accountability measures for law enforcement following the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd.  “These critical reforms are long overdue,” Walz said shortly before the ceremonial signing in St. Paul. Joining the […]

Minneapolis City Council and Charter Commission spar over future of Police Department

BY: - July 22, 2020

Minneapolis seems headed for a showdown between the City Council and an unelected group of nearly all white people appointed by a judge called the Charter Commission. If the commission were to stall long enough, it could stop the council from going to the voters this November with a measure to dismantle the Police Department […]

House DFL leaders characterize police reforms as ‘significant,’ ‘transformational’

BY: - July 21, 2020

House DFL leaders said a bill approved by the Legislature early Tuesday morning is a “significant” achievement in helping address racial bias in policing.  Among the changes coming statewide are a ban on certain chokeholds; a ban on “warrior-style” training for police officers that critics say leads to overly aggressive policing; the establishment of a […]

Minneapolis clears homeless encampment in Powderhorn Park

BY: - July 21, 2020

Minneapolis Parks Police arrested 20 activists and residents of a homeless encampment on the east side of Powderhorn Park Monday for refusing to leave, after the park superintendent deemed the park too dangerous for habitation and gave residents 72 hours to vacate. “Our focus was on dismantling this particular encampment because it had risen to […]

Minnesota lawmakers approve series of police reforms in second special session

BY: - July 21, 2020

The Minnesota Legislature early on Tuesday approved a series of police reforms, including a ban on certain chokeholds; a ban on “warrior-style” training for police officers that critics say leads to overly aggressive policing; the establishment of a police-community relations council under the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training; and, residency incentives for […]