Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1) is the only Minnesotan leader to sign the Police Pledge, a promise to oppose any bills, resolutions, or movements to defund the police. No other leaders from the state have signed this pledge yet.
Hagedorn signed the pledge Thursday. He credits his decision to American government leadership excusing criminal behavior while blaming law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, in recent months, we have seen mayors in big cities across America cave to the most radical voice and undermine police departments,” Hagedorn stated in his press release. “Rioters and looters are routinely destroying public and private property, the businesses that American citizens have spent their lives building, and even people’s homes.”
Heritage Action for America launched the Police Pledge last month at a law enforcement town hall. Vice President Mike Pence, Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) were present. Of those who signed, the webpage tracks U.S. Senators, House Representatives, governors, state and local officials, and citizens.
The pledge states that lawful societies “free from mob rule and violent insurrection” aren’t possible without law enforcement. Signers of the pledge promise “to oppose any bill, resolution, or movement to ‘Defund the Police.'”
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Minneapolis City Council attempted to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) entirely. Instead of a traditional police force, the council proposed establishment of a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. The Minneapolis Charter Commission delayed their vote on the matter, effectively leaving it off the November ballot.
City Council President Lisa Bender (Ward 10) stated that reliance on police “comes from a place of privilege.” Bender suggested an alternate reality exists for minorities, in which calling the police does more harm than good.
A recent poll conducted by KARE 11/MPR News/Star Tribune Minnesota discovered that while a majority of Twin Cities citizens agree to lessen police funding, they don’t believe police should be abolished entirely.
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