Minnesota law enforcement leaders had some choice words for recent prosecutors’ policies at a state Senate hearing Thursday.

“Absurd,” “a slap in the face,” “a mistake,” “frustrating” — to name a few.

The informational hearing on violent crime in Minnesota was held by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee. It was chaired by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, and Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson.

Senators heard from law enforcement leaders who blamed what they said was an increase in crime, radiating out from the Twin Cities to the suburbs, on anti-police rhetoric, shrinking staffing pools, budget cuts and prosecutors who don’t charge the offenders they arrest, TwinCities.com reports.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s September announcement that he would not prosecute most felony cases that result from non-public-safety traffic stops was a topic of discussion. He has said the policy shift is meant to protect drivers of color and people who can’t afford to make repairs who he said are disproportionately affected by such traffic stops. Choi was invited to the hearing but could not appear because of a scheduling conflict, Limmer said.

“Basically the county attorney just announced his office won’t uphold the law and won’t prosecute those who break it,” said Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. “That’s absurd and a slap in the face to victims.”

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