2020 and 2021 have been brutal years for many places in the United States, but none quite as brutal as in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From the murder of George Floyd to months worth of protests, Minneapolis has been in a fraught state. Calls to defund the police have been made nationwide, but nowhere quite as fervently as the place where George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Philando Castile and other black men have died at the hands of the police.

Question 2 on the Minnesota election ballot was on whether residents wanted the police department to be replaced with a public safety system. The push to ‘defund the police’ in Minnesota was led by the city’s congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D). The ballot question read:

“Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to remove the Police Department and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that employs a comprehensive public health approach to the delivery of functions by the Department of Public Safety, with those specific functions to be determined by the Mayor and City Council by ordinance; which will not be subject to exclusive mayoral power over its establishment, maintenance, and command; and which could include licensed peace officers (police officers), if necessary, to fulfill its responsibilities for public safety, with the general nature of the amendments being briefly indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?”

The measure failed, keeping the city’s police department doors open, and rejecting a new form of community public safety. Despite the loss, 40% of residents voted to have the police department replaced.

Though many believe the idea of “defunding the police” has been a ploy politicians are using to gain media attention, critics were not surprised by the voters wanting to keep the Minnesota police department intact.

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