Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Members of a Pennsylvania city council could censure colleagues who attended Black Lives Matter protests … People in Louisiana aren’t providing their contacts to contact tracers … To go to Alaska, you must test negative.
Seventy-five police officers on the Minneapolis force are on medical leave for post-traumatic stress disorder they say was caused by the sometimes violent protests after the death of George Floyd in the city on May 25. The Minneapolis Police Department, which has been the focus of intense scrutiny since Floyd was killed by an officer, is currently down by more than 100 officers, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. That amounts to over 10% of the force. Along with the officers on medical leave, another 40 have been fired, have resigned or are getting ready to leave. At the same time, reports of gunfire have spiked dramatically and residents are complaining that police officers are taking too long to respond to calls. A poll sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union showed that 56% of respondents back replacing the current police department, a proposal a majority of the city council also supports. But it remains unclear whether voters could take up the issue this fall or in 2021. [Minneapolis Star Tribune; Minnesota Reformer; KARE-TV
BLM CENSURE | Three members of the city council in Allentown, Pennsylvania drafted a resolution to censure two other council members who participated in Black Lives Matter protests. Two of the council members supporting the censure, both former police officers, say that participating in the protests raises questions about the members’ objectivity on issues concerning the city’s police department. Joshua Siegel, one of the council members who potentially faces censure, said he “can argue it’s a conflict of interest for council members [who are] former police officers ... to vote with the rest of council on any matters involving our local police department.” [Penn Live]
NO CONTACTS | While more people who tested positive for Covid-19 are answering calls from contact tracers in Louisiana, they aren’t cooperating in a key way. More than 70% of those who speak to people trying to track the spread of the coronavirus aren’t providing the names of their “close contacts.” [Nola.com]
MAYORAL SECURITY | Police in Richmond, Virginia assigned a security detail to Mayor Levar Stoney following “serious, credible, ongoing threats” made against him since he promised to remove Confederate monuments in the city. “The mayor has spent the last three and a half years traveling to hundreds, if not thousands, of public and private events without police protection. Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that we are now in different times,” said a spokesperson for the mayor. [WWBT]
NEGATIVE TEST | Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a new policy going into effect this month: All visitors to the state have to present a negative coronavirus test result from the previous 72 hours. “We’re not trying to make it difficult for people to come here, we just want to make sure we are taking care of Alaskans first,” he said. [Anchorage Daily News]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.