New Poll Shows Significant Support for Transformative Public Safety Changes, Reducing Police Role

June 29, 2021 3:30 pm

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BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — A new poll commissioned by the ACLU shows strong support for a recently passed, groundbreaking resolution to limit the responsibilities of police and transform public safety in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

The poll conducted by Change Research comes as Brooklyn Center kicks off an extensive implementation process that will create genuine public safety for all.

The resolution was passed in response to the police killings of Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler in Brooklyn Center, and follows a year of the largest uprisings in U.S. history after police murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis. Residents in Brooklyn Center, the state, and nation are demanding systemic, transformative change in the criminal legal system, including steps to divest from police departments and reinvest in the communities most harmed by police violence and over-policing.

The new ACLU/Change Research poll shows overwhelming support for re-examining public safety in Brooklyn Center and investing in alternative public safety mechanisms and structures.

Among the poll’s findings:

  • 62 percent of adults in Brooklyn Center think unfair treatment and violence by police against residents of Brooklyn Center is a very serious or somewhat serious problem.
  • 86 percent of respondents think some degree of police reform is needed. 48 percent believe major reforms are needed.
  • 60 percent of respondents support the resolution to reform police and public safety that just passed City Council.
  • 58 percent of respondents support reallocating some portion of the budget from police towards alternative responses, like creating a community response department to send mental health experts to the scene of a crisis.

“These numbers confirm that the community members and residents of Brooklyn Center are ready for transformative changes to their police department and the criminal legal system at large,” said ACLU-MN policy associate Munira Mohamed. “The only way to truly end police violence and killings like those of Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler is not through minor reforms and tinkering around the edges — it’s by shrinking the footprint of police so they don’t have the chance to kill community members in the first place.”

“The passage of the resolution and the overwhelming support exhibited through this poll, along with the powerful testimony of community members during the hearings, demonstrate that people in Brooklyn Center are ready for meaningful, tangible change,” said Paige Fernandez, policing policy advisor for the ACLU. “The support in Brooklyn Center is reflective of the strong public support for alternatives to police shown in other nationwide polls, including ones conducted by Data for Progress and Benenson Strategy Group. The best way to prevent harm caused by police is to fully fund alternatives that end the role of police being the first, last, and only resort in communities. Brooklyn Center residents and elected officials know this, and it’s past time for every other city in the U.S. to follow their lead.”

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