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Walz meets with community members urging passage of police reform bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Community leaders and minority business owners joined Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's administration Wednesday to demand the latest police reform bill be passed.

"We call for the legislature to take quick action and send to the governor's desk these common sense actions to move us towards the just society we all deserve," said Rev. Alfred Babington-Johnson, the Founder and CEO of Stairstep Initiatives.

"If you want to change the world, let's do it man by man, but a change must come," said Dr. Russel A. Pointer, senior pastor of Minneapolis Central Church of Christ.

The police reforms put in front of the Senate, if passed, would do away with no-knock warrants, ban stops or arrests for things like a broken tail light or expired tabs, allow the families of a person who died by police action to see body camera video within 48 hours and ban officers with white supremacist affiliations.

"We need action to update laws, that, as I talked to police on metro transit, saying they don't want to be put in situations where they're in physical confrontations over two dollar fines," said Walz.

Even if this bill passes, proponents say it's only a small step toward their goal.

"We cannot make the mistake, that with one conviction, justice has been served," said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. "Our work is not done until everyone gets to go home safely at the end of the day."

The governor views this bill as an opportunity to have Minnesota be a trailblazer for the nation in equality.

"Why would Minnesota not seize the moment and become the best state in the nation on equity? Why would you not add that to your accomplishments, whether it be healthcare or those things? Why would you not," said Walz.

Majority leader, Sen. Paul Gazelka, (R) East Gull Lake, spoke to reporters after a floor session in the Senate Wednesday. He did not respond directly to Walz's comments.

"Some of the police measures they want to do, we feel like they're anti-police. That they aren't good for actually keeping our streets safe and keeping enough police officers out there," said Gazelka.

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Noah Caplan

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