Group of Protestors

Minneapolis City Council Announces Support For Disbanding Their Police Department

Protests have erupted all over the United States, and the rest of the world, in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of one former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, and four others who were complacent during the nine minute killing. Now, after a major call to action from millions of people all over the world, and the constant efforts of various celebrities and others with major social media followings, justice is beginning to be served.

All four officers involved in Floyd’s death have since been arrested and charged for their involvement in the incident. In response to Breonna Taylor’s unjust killing, in which officers knocked down the door to her apartment while she was sleeping and murdered her in her sleep, Mayor of Louisville and the Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee passed “Breonna’s Law” which limits all no-knock warrants used by the police; the officers involved in her murder have yet to be charged. 

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Most recently and specifically involving the George Floyd case, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced their support for disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department. City Council President Lisa Bender said at a rally on Sunday, “our commitment is to end our toxic relationship with MPD and to end policing as we know it to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”

Jenkins took to the stage with other council members Alondra Cano, Philippe Cunningham, Jeremiah Ellison, Steve Fletcher, Cam Gordon, Andrew Johnson and Jeremy Schroeder, who all pledged their support and intent to end the Minneapolis Police Department “through a budgetary process.”

“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions. We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new transformative model for cultivating safety in our city,” one council member’s banner read as all nine held up various posters of support at the rally. 

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Alondra Cano, who represents the 9th ward, committed herself to creating a “fear free future” where every single life is protected and respected, especially black ones. The council plans to take the funds that previously went into the police department and distribute them towards a community-based public safety model. 

The members also emphasized that while they may not have all the answers as to what a police-free future would be like, they have faith in their community to help them organize and rebuild such a broken system. 

“We’re committing to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for everyone. We’ll be taking intermediate steps towards ending the MPD through the budget process and other policy and budget decisions over the coming weeks and months,” other banners read. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, however, made a surprise appearance at a protest this past Saturday, however, he reaffirmed his support of the police department, and when asked by a protester if he would defund the police, he gave a long complex answer that basically meant no, prompting the crowd to boo him out of the protest. 

The nationwide call to dismantle all of America’s police departments and reform them so that individuals who are more highly educated in the law and all of its specifics has echoed loudly after Floyd’s murder, however, as we know this battle for racial equality is centuries years old. Now, the fact that Americans are seeing white officers held accountable, laws being passed, and the total abolition of police departments, there’s a lot of hope circulating throughout the country, and this is only the beginning according to most.