The Minneapolis City Council Votes to eliminate and replace the police department

The Minneapolis City Council Votes to eliminate and replace the police department follows the public outcry rising from George Floyd murder.

Minneapolis Votes to replace the police department
The Minneapolis City Council Votes to eliminate and replace the police department. PHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Minneapolis City Council’s veto-proof majority announced plans on Sunday to eliminate the city’s police department and replace it with a community-based public safety system.

City Council President Lisa Bender and Council Vice President Andre Jenkins stood in front of a crowd at Powderhorn Park, explaining that “efforts for incremental reform have failed” and that the city needs to replace its police system altogether. 

Speaking on behalf of a majority of the city council, Bender promised to “end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, end the police as we know it, and rebuild public safety systems that keep us safe.”

Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council have pledged to the measure, a majority that may not be overtaken by Mayor Jacob Frey. 

Frey, a young Democrat who sympathized with the national protests in response to the death of George Floyd, walked out of a rally on Saturday as he refused to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department.

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While the mayor does not agree with the city council’s demand for a complete overthrow of the police department, he responded to Sunday’s announcement, saying he would “continue to work” with police chiefs and the community on “deep, structural reform and proper addressing.” 

Racism in the Police Culture. “He is also“ ready to dig into community-led public safety strategies, ”he said.

While it is still unclear what a new public safety system will look like, the city council is limiting the budget for the police department, and its announcement on Sunday responded to a national rallying cry to “defund the police.” 

Except for New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will turn over funds from the police department to social services, the only major city in Minneapolis that is determined to completely transform the country’s legal system, with a modern plan to prioritize the community.

“Our commitment is to do whatever is necessary to keep every member of our community safe,” Bender told the cheering crowd, “and to tell you the truth, the Minneapolis Police haven’t done it.”

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