Minneapolis City Council Resolves To Disband Police Department, Replace With Community-Led Model
The Minneapolis City Council resolved unanimously on Friday to replace the police department with a community-led public safety system following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of city police.
Protests erupted around the U.S. and the world after a bystander videotaped the police violently arresting Floyd in the street on Memorial Day near the 3rd precinct. The precinct building was set on fire later in the week and burned.
“The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers is a tragedy that shows that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the police department against members of our community, especially Black people and people of color,” five council members wrote in the resolution, Reuters reported.
The city council plans to start a year-long process of engagement “with every willing community member in Minneapolis” to come up with a new public safety model.
The resolution came from the 12-member city council after a nine-member majority said they supported dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department at a rally over the weekend.
Details of the plan have not been released.
Although the movement to defund the police is not new, it has gained new support after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as the man begged for his life and said, “I can’t breathe.” The video was seen around the world.
“Decades of police reform efforts have not created equitable public safety in our community, and our efforts to achieve transformative public safety will not be deterred by the inertia of existing institutions, contracts, and legislation,” the council wrote.
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The process will “center the role of healing and reconciliation” with a call for leadership from elders, youth, artists and community organizers, Fox News reported. The city council will work with the mayor’s office, the police chief, Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on the public safety transformation.
A deadline of July 24 for a new Future of Community Safety Work Group to report back with preliminary recommendations “for engaging with specific cultural and stakeholder groups, the community at large and relevant experts that can partner with the city to help Minneapolis transition to a transformative new model for cultivating community safety, including budget and resource need estimates for the process.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey came under fire for refusing to say he’d abolish the police department after Floyd’s death. This week he supported “massive structural reform to revise a structurally racist system,” Reuters reported.