State of Minnesota Archives: on Crime

Tina Liebling: Officers should control situation without deadly force

Our diversity is our strength, but Minnesota's gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity are holding us back. Peaceful civil disobedience has often been the catalyst that moves society toward justice. We don't need additional penalties or threats to those who step forward to make change. The right to protest--and sometimes even to get arrested for it--strengthens our democracy.

The well-publicized police killings of African American people and the killings of police officers have torn the bandage off an old and festering wound. We must create a culture and system that allow for fair and just treatment of all Minnesotans. Law enforcement officers have a tough job, but they must always be held to high and clear standards and accountable to the public.

We need a new standard for law enforcement's use of force--as exists in some other countries. Officers should be expected to control a situation without using deadly force except as a last resort.

Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website May 2, 2017

Tina Liebling: More treatment courts; lower barriers to re-entry after jail

Too many inmates have substance abuse disorder or other mental health issues that would be better treated in another setting. Treatment courts are a step in the right direction, and we must encourage and fund these initiatives. We also need to make sure that people who have been through the justice system can find a path back to a productive life. Lack of housing, lack of needed treatment, and lack of employment are barriers to reentry that must be addressed.
Source: 2018 Minnesota governor campaign website May 2, 2017

Jason Lewis: Don't second-guess the actions of police officers

Solving Social Unrest: While everyone supports equal justice for all, the violence in our cities and the attacks on law enforcement must stop. My wife was a St. Paul police officer for 7 years and my father-in-law is a retired police officer. Consequently, I am keenly aware of the day-to-day pressures facing law enforcement--not the least of which includes split-second life and death decisions. I do not think it's appropriate for those who have little understanding of such situations to second-guess the actions of police officers until all the evidence is in from a complete investigation. Nor do I believe local leaders should be injecting race into elections for political expediency.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Jason Lewis: End overcriminalization: focus on high risk offenders

Criminal justice reform is also needed and I support bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Reps. James Sensenbrenner and Bobby Scott. The Safe, Accountable, Fair and Effective Justice Act seeks to streamline our federal justice system focusing on high risk offenders and making certain federal overcriminalization (there are now 4,500 federal crimes on the books) doesn't ensnare entire communities by putting first time nonviolent offenders in jail. Congress should assist local agencies in making certain that 'equal application of the law' as well as the unequivocal support of law enforcement combine to afford every community the safety and security it deserves.
Source: 2016 Minnesota House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Chris Coleman: Audit police response to alleged officer misconduct

The national dialogue about policing, particularly in communities of color, has put our officers under intense scrutiny. And because we are focused on equity, we haven't run from that conversation. One concern raised by the community during the past year and a half is the practice and structure of the Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission (PCIARC)--which examines incidents of alleged officer misconduct and makes a disciplinary recommendation to the Chief of Police. After an audit of the PCIARC & numerous community conversations, the City Council is pursuing a set of administrative changes in the immediate short term and I will make further recommendations for city ordinance changes by the end of the summer.

We don't always get it right. But we do so much more right here in Saint Paul. Under the leadership of Chief Smith and with hundreds of committed uniformed officers, our department is setting the national standard for true community policing.

Source: 2016 State of the City address: St. Paul Minnesota Apr 19, 2016

Rebecca Otto: Establish security practices for crime evidence

The Metro Gang Strike Force started with a good idea: bring members of various law enforcement agencies together to combat gang activity in a single unit. But FBI and state investigations discovered that members of the unit had been taking home property they seized during their police operations.

Rebecca Otto learned that the Strike Force had no internal controls for their seized property. They didn't even have a lock on the door of their property and evidence room. Without a set of policies and procedures for managing their property and evidences rooms, the chain of custody of evidence can be called into question, and bad guys could go free, while innocents could go to jail.

Rebecca decided to survey the hundreds of other law enforcement agencies in Minnesota about their property and evidence rooms in order to develop a best practices review for their use. She produced a landmark report on best practices in property and evidence rooms that has since become a well-used guide.

Source: Minnesota State Auditor campaign website Nov 1, 2014

Rebecca Otto: Shut down traffic ticket diversions with alternative penalty

Some local law enforcement agencies had begun offering traffic diversion programs that worked outside the uniform Minnesota traffic system. In lieu of state traffic tickets, drivers were given the option to pay a smaller fine & take a safe driving class or watch an 8-minute online video, and local law enforcement kept the money. The State Auditor's Office had long noted that, though popular, these programs were not authorized by state law.

Under Rebecca's leadership, a special review highlighted how and why the programs were not in compliance with existing Minnesota law, and illustrated some of the financial and safety problems they posed.

The small number of police and county sheriff departments that were using the programs liked the money they generated and argued that the State Auditor was wrong and that the law was ambiguous, but in 2014 a judge agreed with Rebecca's position and ruled that the programs were not authorized by state law. As a result, most of the programs have been shut down.

Source: Minnesota State Auditor campaign website Nov 1, 2014

Heather Johnson: Don't punish victimless crimes like prostitution & gambling

I shall fight against any efforts to pass legislation and regulation of victimless crimes. Such "crimes" include speeding, drinking, no seat belts, drug use, prostitution, gambling, no helmets, or any other crime where no harm is brought against another human or group of humans. All consensual acts, free from fraud, force, and coercion belong to the consenting individuals involved and do not fall into the domain of politics or government.
Source: 2014 Minnesota Senate campaign website, "Platform" Jul 31, 2014

Jim Abeler: Major overhaul needed for sex offender laws

Minnesota must make it easier for sex offenders to finish a treatment program that for most has resulted in indefinite state custody, and should try to get politics out of the screening process, a task force said. The 22-member panel recommended a major overhaul of the state's sex offender laws.

Of the 698 people now enrolled [as juveniles], 52 have never been convicted of an adult crime. "No person should be civilly committed based solely on behavior that occurred while that person was a juvenile," the report said. If the Legislature fails to fix the program it risk having it dismantled by a federal judge. Gov. Mark Dayton has halted the provisional release of offenders until the Legislature has a chance to act.

Rep. Jim Abeler, a Republican who also served on the task force, said those who believe changes are necessary--he counted himself in that group--might have to push forward even if it's divisive. "If we can't reach a truce, that doesn't mean the problem then goes away," Abeler said.

Source: Associated Press on 2014 Minnesota Senate race Dec 2, 2013

Jim Abeler: Supports use of deadly force in self-defense

Jim Abeler voted Yea (Concurrence Vote) on HF 1467 (Passed House, 85-47)

Legislative title:Expands the Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense

Legislative summary:Vote to expand provisions authorizing use of deadly force in self-defense. Highlights:

Source: Minnesota House voting records (Votesmart synopses) Feb 29, 2012

Tom Emmer: Establish the death penalty in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Walter Mondale: Gideon brief established right to attorney

Mondale, as attorney general, filed a brief on behalf of a Florida man named Clarence Gideon who couldn’t afford a defense attorney. At the time, states were not required to provide attorneys to poor defendants charged with serious crimes. As a result of Mondale’s brief, defendants charged with serious crimes in both federal and state courts are provided attorneys if they cannot afford one. The Gideon case is required reading for all first year law students.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio interview with Elizabeth Stawicki May 17, 2001

Mark Dayton: More resources for local law enforcement & COPS

I will fight to provide local law enforcement the resources needed to prevent and control crime. I support increased federal funding for law enforcement for programs such as COPS and other federal initiatives that expand the presence of community police on our streets.
Source: Minnesota Newspaper Association Election Questionnaire Jul 2, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Minnesota Politicians: Archives.
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Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
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Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
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Gov.George Pataki(NY)
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Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
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Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
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Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018