Rep. Ilhan Omar fired verbal shots at a state judge who struck down a ballot initiative aimed at defunding the Minneapolis Police Department, saying the ruling now deprives the city of the “flexibility” in needs to adequately protect residents.
“The court finds that the current ballot language is vague, ambiguous and incapable of implementation, and is insufficient to identify the amendment clearly,” Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson wrote in his ruling on the measure. “It is unreasonable and misleading.”
The initiative seeks to replace the police department with a “public safety” agency that may or may not include trained police officers, according to reports, leaving city officials and Mayor Jacob Frey feverishly searching for a solution or workaround ahead of the November ballot.
Anderson issued his ruling Tuesday evening, just two hours before a 5 p.m. deadline for ballots to be sent to the printer’s office, The Associated Press reported.
“The rejected language for the proposed amendment to the city charter, approved by the City Council last month, would have asked voters whether to replace the police force with a new but mostly undefined Department of Public Safety that ‘could include police officers,” the newswire reported.
“It would have removed a mandate that the city has a police department and provide at least minimum staffing levels based on population. The council instead of the mayor would control the new entity,” the AP said.