Civil Rights

U.S. Supreme Court hands victories to religious employers in health care decision

BY: - July 8, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a Trump administration effort to exempt employers with religious or moral concerns from complying with a “birth control mandate” in the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era law that requires employer-provided insurance plans to cover contraceptives. Reproductive rights advocates say the ruling potentially affects hundreds of thousands of […]

Leaked documents: Intelligence wing of law enforcement struggled to fulfill its mission during George Floyd protests

BY: - July 8, 2020

During the unrest following the killing of George Floyd, the intelligence gathering and analysis arm of Minnesota law enforcement fed a constant stream of unverified and ultimately bogus threats to officers while failing to identify more credible risks, according to recently leaked documents. Last month the hacktivist group Distributed Denial of Secrets published more than […]

Merchants of misinformation target rural Minnesota

BY: - July 7, 2020

A room at the Redwood Valley High School Community Center filled to about half capacity earlier this year as rural Minnesotans made small talk, munched on store bought cookies and drank astringent coffee as Ron Branstner queued up his slideshow.  The crowd had come to hear Branstner, dressed in khakis and white sneakers, talk about […]

Minneapolis Police were once used as strike breakers

BY: - July 7, 2020

“The blood of workers ran freely in the streets of Minneapolis yesterday. They were shot down and wounded by uniformed thugs commanded by police chief Michael Johannes. Forty-eight sons of the working class were mowed down by shotguns in the hands of police” — From The Organizer, the daily strike bulletin of General Drivers Local […]


Government can’t stop the fierce winds of cultural change

BY: - July 6, 2020

We are living through history, through a tumultuous time in which change accelerates, the once-solid becomes fluid and no one has any real idea of where this thing is headed. Living in chaos, trying to make daily sense of it, has been frightening, exhilarating and confusing.  Someday our grandchildren, reading about this era in their […]

Former Minneapolis cop says MPD rejected his intervention training offers twice

BY: - July 2, 2020

A former Minneapolis police sergeant, recognized for his work in helping clean up the scandal-plagued New Orleans Police Department, says he twice offered his old department training that could have prevented the death of George Floyd. Twice he was turned down. Michael Quinn, a retired 23-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, said he offered […]

Indigenous Minnesotans — key voice on racial profiling — split on future of Minneapolis Police Department

BY: - June 30, 2020

The uprising following the Memorial Day police killing of George Floyd has exposed a split among American Indian leaders over issues of police accountability and public safety. Some want to reform the Police Department, while others want to abolish it altogether and replace it with something new. The debate in the large and diverse Indigenous […]

Roberts sided with liberal justices, overturning Louisiana abortion law

BY: - June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — In a major victory for reproductive rights, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a controversial Louisiana law that critics said would have severely limited access to abortion in Louisiana and opened the door to further abortion limitations around the country. Enacted in 2014 by the Louisiana state Legislature, the law would have required physicians […]

City Council moves charter amendment to eliminate current Police Department; voters could act on it in November

BY: - June 26, 2020

The Minneapolis City Council began the process Friday of allowing voters to scrap the city’s police department and create a new public safety agency. The move comes after a month of protests following the police killing of George Floyd. The council’s vote on an amendment to the city charter is the first step to getting […]

Senate Republicans tangle with People of Color Indigenous Caucus over crime, police reform

BY: - June 25, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka called for hearings on the riots, looting and arsons that broke out after the police killing of George Floyd, but not the killing itself. He drew criticism from the Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus — known as POCI — whose members said his priorities are off. Gazelka questioned […]

Hennepin County Board takes up racism as a public health crisis

BY: - June 24, 2020

A panel of the Hennepin County Board voted Tuesday to declare racism a public health crisis, despite the objections of two commissioners who wanted more time to examine it. About a dozen other county boards nationwide have passed similar resolutions in the wake of  George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Hennepin […]

Minneapolis Council members draft charter amendment to replace existing police department

BY: - June 23, 2020

Five Minneapolis City Council members have written an amendment to the city charter that would remove the police department and replace it with a new city agency responsible for public safety, according to a draft of the amendment obtained by the Reformer. The proposed charter amendment, which could go before Minneapolis voters as soon as […]