An independent candidate from Minneapolis has announced his run for Hennepin County Sheriff.
Jai Hanson, a police officer, is hoping to make positive changes in Hennepin County and specifically in Minneapolis. Hanson is not seeking an endorsement from any political parties because he wants to be a true independent. He said he wants to be “part of the solution” and make policing about people rather than politics.
Hanson was adopted from India when he was two, with parents who were both very vocal and involved civically. He explained that he went to school in Chicago where he “saw firsthand how crime can destroy a community.”
He shared, “As a police officer and a man of color, I’ve seen firsthand how far we have to go when it comes to repairing relationships with our communities – especially our minority communities. To me, this is not about moving on or turning the page, instead this is about acknowledging, learning and healing from what’s happened in order for all of us to become safe.”
Hanson said, “I believe to stop our crime epidemic we need an independent Sheriff who focuses on people, not politics.”
— Jai Hanson For Hennepin County Sheriff (@jai4sheriff) August 24, 2021
Hanson’s campaign website says “dangerous rhetoric” has eroded local law enforcement.
“We’ve seen dangerous rhetoric invade the mission of law enforcement that we need to keep our streets safe. And as Minneapolis burned last year, our Hennepin County Sheriff was nowhere to be found. No action. No plan. Not even an explanation,” the campaign website says.
Hanson believes that policing can both be supported and reformed at the same time. His website reads, “We’ve seen our cities burn and our police officers demonized, while violent crime is at historic levels. It is not acceptable.”
Hanson has vowed to support local law enforcement at every level. He said that Hennepin County police “will have a vocal leader and advocate again – one who won’t stay on the sidelines when the integrity of our officers is questioned.”
Hanson is also committed to being involved in youth and community outreach. He says that the best way to prevent crime is to stop it “before it happens.” Hanson wants to be involved in helping youth stay out of the “downward spiral of crime” and help police officers to be visible within communities to “rebuild trust” and “improve communities.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jai Hanson” by Jai for Sheriff.