Minneapolis City Council members have a vowed to disband the police department in the wake George Floyd’s death and nationwide protests.
According to the “New York Times,” nine members of the city council announced their support for disbanding the local Minneapolis Police Department police department and replace the office with what is being described as a “new model of public safety.”
The council’s intent to enact the plan was first reported by the political news website The Appeal. The site says that the council garnered enough members’ support to have a veto-proof majority.
The news comes after people around the country have come together to stage protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled against his neck for more than eight minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers involved in the incident have been charged with aiding and abetting the murder.
Other organizations, including the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Schools and Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, have already severed their ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.
Several council members, like Jeremiah Ellison, have been outspoken in their support to disband the police department.
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due,” Ellison tweeted on June 4.
We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.
We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.
It’s really past due. https://t.co/7WIxUL6W79
— Jeremiah Ellison (@jeremiah4north) June 4, 2020
In an essay published by TIME, council member Steve Fletcher agreed that the Police Department should be disbanded and explained some of the measures that have already been taken.
“We had already pushed for pilot programs to dispatch county mental health professionals to mental health calls, and fire department EMTs to opioid overdose calls, without police officers. We have similarly experimented with unarmed, community-oriented street teams on weekend nights downtown to focus on de-escalation. We could similarly turn traffic enforcement over to cameras and, potentially, our parking enforcement staff, rather than our police department,” he wrote. “Our city needs a public safety capacity that doesn’t fear our residents. That doesn’t need a gun at a community meeting. That considers itself part of our community. That doesn’t resort quickly to pepper spray when people are understandably angry. That doesn’t murder Black people.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of a protest on Saturday after he opposed defunding the police. A crowd of demonstrators chanted “Go home, Jacob” and “Shame” at him.
"Go home Jacob! Go home!"
— ABC News (@ABC) June 7, 2020