Created: June 13, 2021 09:42 PM
Rep. Cedrick Frazier, DFL-New Hope, is spending his first term at the Minnesota Capitol getting right into one of the biggest issues of the past two years: more police accountability.
Frazier, who is Black, has become a regular leading voice for the House DFL majority, which is trying to include reforms such as local citizen-oversight boards, additional training and body cameras as part of budget negotiations. Legislative leaders and DFL Gov. Tim Walz have been meeting behind closed doors over the weekend, saying they’re making progress on where to direct the state’s money for the next two years.
This week on “At Issue,” Frazier said House DFLers have offered a number of changes, but Republicans, who control the Senate, have only returned one offer.
“They have not come very far to meet us in the middle. None of the proposals that we have I consider to be controversial or radical,” Frazier said. “You can’t have a negotiation — or any good negotiation — if you don’t have both parties willing to negotiate.”
Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said previously on the show that he wouldn’t agree to anything “anti-police,” adding, “which a number of [the DFL’s] measures are.”
Frazier said the DFL proposal doesn’t include qualified immunity, but they are including addressing pre-text stops, like air fresheners.
“There’s nothing in this bill that I would consider to be anti-police,” Frazier said. “The provisions we have in this bill are specifically designed to help raise the profession and help our law enforcement officers.”
Lawmakers have until July 1 to find an agreement and pass a budget. If they can’t, most state programs and services will shut down.
Asked if he or his DFL colleagues would be willing to drive the state government to a shutdown if they don’t get the police reform measures they’re looking for, Frazier said: “I think we can have an agreement on police reform,” adding that, “I think the question is to ask our GOP colleagues if they’re willing to stand in the way of a budget deal because they refuse to support common-sense measures that will help create a public safety system that’s good for all Minnesotans.”
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