2021’s off-year voting had some high stakes for a year that is deeply embedded in a presidential term’s first year. Meaning, usually a lot of ballot measures, a few recalls, a few replacements, and one or two governorships are usually all the American people see on an odd-numbered year.
But not 2021.
In clear 2020 decade fashion, everything had to be an event, and election-night coverage included watching parties that were focused on several key issues, including the gubernatorial race in Virginia (congrats to those guys, they clearly understood the assignment), and a test subject in Minneapolis Minnesota that was meant to test the waters for police reform.
Up before Minnesotians was the question of whether they wanted to completely overhaul their police force and institute a new Department of Public Safety that would downgrade traditional policing, and add in more social workers, etc. Essentially making less interaction with police, but a greater breadth of authority, in the end.
The heart of the state where George Floyd’s death began to rip the nation in half, voters who have, since police decreases, experienced an extreme crime wave, voted against the progressive policy with around 57% voted against the measure while 43% voted in support of it according to Fox 9 KMSP.
The group Yes 4 Minneapolis, issued “a Black-led, multiracial campaign working with the community to implement a Department of Public Safety in Minneapolis,” statement in response to the vote:
“This campaign began with working-class Black and brown residents marching together to demand a higher standard of public safety. It grew into a city-wide movement that spanned race and neighborhoods, to give us a say in our future and to advocate for the resources that they need,” the group said in the statement. “While this is not the result that we hoped for, the story of our movement must be told.”
The group says that they plan to “hold the system accountable” and “heal our city and create safer streets for all our communities.”
So, what exactly would the converted police force and social-worker hybrid DPS look like exactly? This means a guy with a gun and a blue uniform might not be called to your domestic disturbance. It could end up being a social worker with a clipboard who has been trained to look out for key issues regarding children. So, that force could work something like this:
Let’s say your neighbors call the cops because they hear you fighting with your wife (or yelling at the dog, just because they don’t particularly like you on this Thursday afternoon) and you, being annoyed, might smart off to a social worker, who appears at your door.
That social worker might then happen to notice that you have more than 3 (count them, 3) dishes in your sink. He or she could then decide to remove your children from your home (which, by the way, they get extra monetary compensation for $$$), and you’re left in a special type of hell, working to get custody of your children back.
Now, will this be common? Probably not. Are all social workers petty and vindictive? Absolutely not, many, if not most, have a heart of gold to serve children.
But it would be tough to ignore the stories of children who grew up in the system who say that there is about a “50/50 chance” a kid will get a caring social worker or a petty dictator drunk on power. Whether or not any given social worker is looking to keep families together, when police respond to a scene, they’re looking for the physical well-being of all persons involved.
Anything beyond that should be considered on a warranted only basis, and not just because someone across the street was feeling petty that day.
We would be remiss not to note that from day 1, conservatives have pointed out that the “Defund the Police” movement was never an effort to have fewer law enforcement officers, it was an effort to revamp how law enforcement controls Americans.
They create a problem and then sell the cure. Make a vacuum and then make a “peace-keeping” force that will not have the roots in reasonable community members the way so many LEO’s do now.
It’s transparent and abominable and we should all run from it as fast as we can.