Rep. Ilhan Omar Hosts Police Brutality Listening Session, Discuss Legislative Package

June 5, 2020
Press Release
Attendees Included Common, Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith, Mayors Melvin Carter, Jacob Frey, CBC Leaders

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Omar hosted a “Working Together to Combat Police Brutality” private listening session with Black community leaders in the Twin Cities, elected officials, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and performing artist and activist Common. The goal was to allow members of the community and advocates to voice their concerns and recommendations for combating systemic racism at the federal, state and local level.  She also discussed her new legislative package to address police misuse of force, and violence against protesters.

“I believe those closest to the pain need to be the center of our response at all levels of government. Black people and people of color are disproportionately harmed by systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Yet too often, our policies are made without the input, feedback, or consent of those who will be adversely impacted. I was proud to bring together the activists on the ground with the leaders at the highest level of government—and hope we can continue these conversations,” said Omar.

The event itself was closed press, but you can view photos here.

Attendees Included:

Common, Performing Artist and Activist

Elected Officials:

Governor Tim Walz (D-MN)

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (D-MN)

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE)

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (D-MN)

Mayor Jacob Frey (D-MN)

State Senator Jeff Hayden  (D-MN)

State Representative Rena Moran (D-MN)

State Representative Carlos Mariani (D-MN)

State Representative Ray Dehn(D-MN)

State Representative Kaohly Her  (D-MN)

Minneapolis Council Member Jeremiah Ellison (D-MN)

Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter (D-MN)

Community Members:

Al Flowers, Activist

Alfreda Daniels, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation and Black Immigrant Collective

Alicia Smith, Corcoran Neighborhood 

Anika Bowie, VP, Minneapolis NAACP 

Brian Fullman, ISAIAH MN

Chelsie Glaubitz, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

Elizer Darris, ACLU Minnesota 

Erin Sharklet, Woman for Political Change 

JaNae Bates, ISAIAH MN

Jen White, Office of Mayor Frey

Junauda Petrus, Women for Political Change

Kandace Montgomery, Black Visions Collective

Leslie Redmond, President, Minneapolis NAACP

Lisa Clemons, Mothers Love 

Michelle Gross, Communities United Against Police Brutality 

Oluchi Omeoga, Transgengender Law Center

Rev McAfee, New Salem Baptist 

Sasha Cotton, City of Mpls Office of Violence Prevention

Sheila Nezhad, MPD150 

Spike Moss, Civil Rights Activist 

Wintana Melekin, Minnesota Voice

Rep. Omar (D-MN) also discussed her four bills in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the unrest in response. The bills address the need for better accountability for police misuse of force, the violent police response to protests, the President’s use of military action against U.S. Citizens, and the need for economic relief for communities impacted.

National Police Misuse of Force Investigation Board Act (co-lead by Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee)– This bill will establish a federal agency responsible for investigating all nationwide deaths occurring in police custody, officer-involved shootings and uses of force that result in severe bodily injury. The agency will conduct unbiased, independent investigations and issue determinations of responsibility and recommendations for reform that will prevent future violence. Those findings will be admissible in court and federal funding for law enforcement activities and equipment will be curtailed if a police department fails to take meaningful action on the Board’s policy and reform recommendations.

Bill to Criminalize Police Violence Against ProtestersThis legislation will allow any officer who kills or causes bodily harm to a civilian during the response to a protest to be charged with a federal crime. We must ensure that the constitutional right to protest is duly protected, not threatened or stifled by law enforcement officers.

Amending the Insurrection Act (co-lead by CPC Co-Chairs Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Pramila Jayapal), This legislation will amend the Insurrection Act, curtailing the Trump’s ability to deploy the military domestically without Congressional consent. It will prevent the President from having unilateral power to declare protesters a threat to society and deploying troops against American citizens for no reason other than to enforce his person principles.

Federal Relief Fund –This  legislation will create an Emergency Relief Fund specifically for communities trying to rebuild after social and civil rights crises, a fund that cities and businesses can apply to for grants to get them back on their feet. Abandoning those who have faced financial consequences only sets the stage for future conflict.