At Issue: Sept. 19 — Keith Ellison on the Minneapolis public safety ballot initiative and the latest on Rep. John Thompson |

At Issue: Sept. 19 — Keith Ellison on the Minneapolis public safety ballot initiative and the latest on Rep. John Thompson

Ricky Campbell
Updated: September 19, 2021 01:56 PM
Created: September 17, 2021 06:11 PM

Basic reforms aren’t enough the change the Minneapolis Police Department, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has publicly supported a ballot initiative to change how the city’s charter recognizes public safety. 

“I have hope we can embrace a future in which we have law enforcement coupled with both traditional policing and public health strategies together that can give us an overall better product,” Ellison told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “I think the problem is structural.”

Ellison also laid out how the Minnesota Board of Pardons could change — through legislative process — and, in his view, improve the justice system. In a wide-ranging interview on “At Issue,” the DFL attorney general explains why he took the issue to court.

“My office did say the statute requiring unanimity was constitutional,” Ellison said. “But my policy prescription would be 'lets go two out of three.' I can't say the law's unconstitutional. I can't say it's not the wisest choice.”

Also this week on “At Issue,” our political analysts lay out the possible future — and problems — for Rep. John Thompson who was recently removed from the House DFL caucus but now identifies as an independent. Thompson will continue to represent St. Paul's east side in the Legislature, which, as a body, hasn’t voted to remove him from office.

Over in the Senate, DFLers made a historic choice in elevating Sen. Melisa López Franzen to minority leader. And consider the gubernatorial race well underway as candidates for governor, Republican Sen. Michelle Benson and DFL Gov. Tim Walz, trade barbs on the topic of an app that can help Minnesotans prove their vaccination status.

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