Nine out of twelve Minneapolis City Council members have lent support to dismantling the city's police department. The move comes amid 'Defund the Police' calls following the brutal killing of George Floyd, a 46-year old African-American man by four white police officers.
In a protest rally at a city park on Sunday afternoon, Council President Lisa Bender announced the plan to end the "city's toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department". She reiterated the fact that George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police officers. According to her the "existing system of policing and public safety" was not keeping the communities safe. The efforts at incremental police reform have failed, she added.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted that she was present at the Sunday's rally. At another protest on Saturday, she said that not only the MPD needs to be defunded, it should also be dismantled. According to her, MPD is "rotten to the root" and if it's dismantled, "we get rid of that cancer to allow for something beautiful to rise". That will allow in figuring out what public safety looks like, she added, Daily Mail reported.
"We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department", the city council member Jeremiah Ellison had announced the decision on June 4. Council member Steve Fletcher cited the same in a Time op-ed, the next day.
The move is being opposed by Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who at a protest on Saturday, said that he is against the dismantlement of the MPD. The answer earned him boos and chants of "Shame!" and "Go home, Jacob, go home!".
On Sunday, President Donald Trump too spoke against the dismantlement of the police department. He blamed "the Radical Left Democrats" and his political opponent Joe Biden, for the decision. "I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. I want LAW & ORDER!", he tweeted.
The city council members said they don't have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like. "But our community does", the statement read. They announced that they will proceed with "ending the MPD through the budget process and other policy and budget decisions over the coming weeks and months". The members will engage with every willing community member "to identify what safety looks like for everyone".