Photo from Hunrgyogrephotos flickrThe Minneapolis city council is seriously floating a proposal to abolish their police department in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing and the subsequent protests and riots. The idea has been openly endorsed by many city councilors.
Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is expressing her support as well.
Time magazine published an
I understood that the Police Department needed a decades-long history of discrimination and violence when I ran for the Minneapolis City Council in 2017. I ran on a platform of police reform educated by my experience seeing young black canvassers harass that I worked with and from the police shooting of Jamar Clark in 2015, which prompted weeks of protest away from the fourth precinct. In 2017, accountability was further cemented by Justine Damond’s police shooting as a central motif of the campaign year.
When we heard of the murder of George Floyd the weight of the history was heavy. The accumulated grief and anger in many years of police violence has been attracted to the surface, and tens of thousands of people left over distancing to take into the streets and require justice. Minneapolis Police had an opportunity to distance themselves to express empathy, for a calming presence. Instead, they set rubber bullets and tear gas escalating the problem to battle that was pitched from protest. From the next day, it had been apparent that people in Lake Street rallied for more than four officers’ prosecution. They demonstrated their anger in decades of harassment and racialized violence and calling for it to finish.
The absence of change has not been for lack of trying. The majority of those who are in office in Minneapolis conducted on a platform which included liability and police reform. Many leaders before us have attempted and failed to attain meaningful progress and also for its first two years of our term that is current, so have we. We have all guessed that reform was not possible, to varying degrees.
There’s another reason reform can be daunting, even frightening. My reform advocacy, incremental though it has been, has prompted political attacks from their allies, that now have been confident that their service for police growth was a mainstream perspective and police. And they do not restrict their attacks to politics. Politicians who oppose the department’s wishes find slowdowns within their wards. After we cut out of the police budget that was suggested, I learned from constituents whose 9-1-1 calls took forever to get a reply, and that I discovered about officials telling business owners about why it took so long, to call their councilman. Since I’ve started talking publicly about this, elected officials across the country have contacted me to tell me I’m not alone in this experience.
Each member of the Minneapolis City Council has expressed the need for striking structural change. I’m one of many about the Council, such as the Chair of Public Safety and the Council President, that are publicly supporting the phone to disband our police department and begin fresh with outreach capability and a non-violent public safety. Everything I hear from most of my constituents is that they wish to be sure that we provide for public safety, and they have learned their whole lives to discriminate”safety” with”police,” but are now concluding that need not be the situation.
Our city needs a public safety capacity that does not fear our occupants. That does not need a gun. That considers itself part of the community. When folks are angry, that does not resort to pepper spray. That doesn’t kill folks.
We can reimagine what people safety means, what abilities we hunt for, and what resources we do and do not need. We can play a role in combating the systems of white supremacy that the death of lives that are brown and black has laid bare. We can put money into wellness de-escalation, training and conflict resolution and cultural competency. We can send a city reply that that is appropriate to every circumstance and makes it simpler. We can resolve confusion within a supermarket without drawing a weapon or pulling out handcuffs.
But with no police, who’s going to look after the rioters via an people, and, perhaps more ironical, who’s going to protect the politicians against the irate protesters?
The Minneapolis City Council said they are holding a special crisis meeting to accept court arrangement outlining frame for systemic change and changes for the Minneapolis Police Department thursday.
Minnesota Department of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel along with Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will brief the City Council Friday to the Upcoming steps for the state investigation to the MPD. The City Council will also vote as a portion of the state’s longer-term investigation in stipulating changes for the section, a court order along with a frame for systemic change, according to a press release.
Two Minneapolis City Council members have tweeted that they are trying to make adjustments to, or perhaps eliminate, the Minneapolis Police Department after George Floyd’s death last week.
It is unclear if there’s any similar service from other town council members and exactly what the council members intend to do.
They did not pass a resolution to break up the police department while the city council met today. They did, but give some lip service to the mob by requiring some other officer if they witnesses another one using unnecessary force, to create a report and exposing chokeholds.