Twin Cities Metro Area Local Statement on Justice Department investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department
This summer, the US Justice Department released a report detailing the results of their investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), corroborating what overpoliced communities and activists had long known and attested to: patterns of excessive and unjustified force, bias and discrimination, and civil rights violations were systemic issues in the department.
Bulleted list/summary of key findings OR to keep it shorter we could just link to the report/the link I gave as a summary?
The response from police leadership was not surprising: blaming lack of funding for systemic issues that have grown worse despite ballooning police budgets, failure to take responsibility and an unwillingness to commit to systemic change or even basic reforms. The fact that they’re using this ruling to beg for more money hints at the fact that little will ultimately change within the department.
As socialists, we understand these are systemic problems, and are bigger than a few “bad apples”. Police under capitalism exist to protect property and the status quo, not civil rights, or human lives. The Minneapolis Police Department is no anomaly: it is foundational to what modern policing under capitalism is: whether it is throwing families onto the street to at the behest of landlords, violently breaking strikes, or feeding the prison industrial complex by criminalizing and brutalizing poor and marginalized groups.
The working class doesn’t need an investigation from the Justice Department to understand this, we know it from experiencing it firsthand and/or listening to the experiences of the people the police abuse. This decree, like most agreements between the US Federal government and local entities, as history has shown us, is an empty gesture that will not change the historical and systemic abuse demonstrated by the police. Reforms are welcome and hard-fought, but no amount of reform can change the role police play in enforcing systems of oppression under capitalism, and any movement for police reform should ultimately work towards police abolition.
From the SP-USA Statement “Police Brutality is State Sanctioned Brutality”
“The Socialist Party demands the immediate establishment of completely independent and democratically elected police control and oversight councils, with full power to fire police and to arrest, detain, and indict police officers who brutalize or abuse people or who commit any violation of laws or civil rights and liberties. We demand the ultimate replacement of the police with community residents trained in conflict resolution who live in and serve the community under community control. We encourage anyone in agreement with our Statement of Principles to consider joining us today. We need you in this fight.”
“Know Your Rights” guide to interacting with police, by the National Lawyers Guild and National Police Accountability Project: https://www.nlg.org/know-your-rights/
Know Your Rights with Ice” guide to interacting with ICE, by the Immigrant Defense Project:
How you can get involved:
Communities United Against Police Brutality: https://www.cuapb.org/
Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar: www.tcc4j.net
Black Lives Matter MN: https://blacklivesmattersmn.com/