Saturday, December 4, 2021


A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.


U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Laying the Groundwork for Equitable Traffic-Stop Policies


Tuesday, October 5, 2021   

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Law enforcement agencies are reassessing traffic-stop policies amid concerns from racial-justice advocates.

In Minnesota, a new project is focusing research and financial support for these changes, to help people affected by these laws.

Brooklyn Center leaders recently noted their reform plans include ending arrests for non-moving traffic violations. Elsewhere, the Ramsey County Attorney said last month his office would no longer prosecute cases stemming solely from traffic stops that are not a threat to public safety.

Eric Jolly, president and CEO of the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation, said they are getting behind the county's plan with a new fund.

"When people's safety is not at stake, then there's no reason to create a system that causes that anxiety and doesn't reduce the safety concerns," Jolly asserted.

The fund will help determine if the changes are effective in avoiding deadly encounters, and it provides aid to low-income drivers in need of minor repairs that could lead to traffic stops, like a broken tail light.

The Stanford Open Policing Project showed in cities like St. Paul, police stop Black drivers at higher rates than whites. Some law-enforcement associations argued the rule changes will add to public safety problems, not decrease them.

But reform advocates contended longstanding policies about traffic stops rarely help law enforcement build a case. Instead, they said the policies have eroded trust between police and communities of color.

Jolly emphasized it is time to change that dynamic.

"Each time, the pull-over gets more and more anxiety provoking," Jolly observed. "And to stop that means that the next pull-over will have meaning and value."

Ramsey County's plan has the backing of local police leaders, including St. Paul's police chief. Jolly added the approach allows officers to better focus on more pressing matters.

"This is a critical issue as well in greater Minnesota," Jolly remarked. "The rest of Minnesota has to worry about, 'What are the availabilities of the sheriffs? How can we free up their time?'"

The fund will also help establish a way for drivers to be notified of a minor violation without being pulled over. Supporters hope the effort inspires other agencies to consider changes.

Disclosure: The Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)


LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …

From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)


HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021