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Senate Majority Leader Gazelka Under Fire For Refusing To Hold Hearings On Police Reform
Following the death of Daunte Wright who was fatally shot by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, it was widely reported that Senate Majority Leader Gazelka was “committed to having hearings” on police reform. On Friday, Gazelka walked back this commitment, refusing to hold hearings on meaningful reform, instead, standing in the way of progress while Black Minnesotans suffer tragic outcomes at the hands of police officers.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are pushing for a bill that would impose harsher penalties against people arrested while protesting, make them ineligible for food stamps, and subject to loss of student financial aid and other government benefits.
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement:
“Instead of making meaningful progress for Minnesotans and protecting the lives of people like George Floyd and Daunte Wright, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka has shown us exactly what his priorities are.
“While Governor Walz and the DFL are committed to substantial reform measures to ensure tragedies at the hands of police officers never happen again, Gazelka and his Republican colleagues will do everything in their power to block progress. Holding hearings on this life or death issue is the bare minimum. It comes as no surprise that the same party who would host a far-right conspiracy theorist who claims the murder of George Floyd was planned by socialists would be the greatest obstacle to progress on police reform in this state.”
- Last week, the DFL-controlled House passed a public safety bill focused on police reform.
- Senate Republicans have not held a single public hearing about a single police accountability bill this year.
- The keynote speaker at a Minnesota county Republican Party’s event last month told members that George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police was “planned since 2016.”