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7 Jun, 2020 23:42

Minneapolis City Council pushes ahead with vow to ‘DISBAND’ police as veto-proof majority endorses proposal

Minneapolis City Council pushes ahead with vow to ‘DISBAND’ police as veto-proof majority endorses proposal

The majority of members on Minneapolis City Council have announced that they are ready to commit themselves to getting rid of the city’s police department. The idea has become one of the rally cries of the ongoing protests.

Council President Lisa Bender broke the news during a rally in Minneapolis on Sunday, saying that nine of the body’s 13 members have so far got on board with the idea.

Speaking to CNN, Bender said that the council has yet to work out a plan for how exactly they want to uproot the police department, noting that “the idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term.”

While Bender has provided scant details about the planned changes to the workings of law enforcement, she noted that funds earmarked for police would be funneled to cover other needs.

The rally that was addressed by councilmen and women featured a giant “DEFUND POLICE” banner propped against the stage.

“This city council is going to dismantle this police department,” council member Jeremiah Ellison said from the stage, doubling down on an earlier pledge.

However, another council member Phillipe Cunningham appeared to pour cold water on the proposal, telling Los Angeles Times reporter Molly O'Toole that there has not been a vote scheduled for council members to formally weigh in on the idea.

Echoing Bender, he said that the Minneapolis Police Department “will not be abolished tomorrow,” adding that the overhaul might lead to “potential budget cuts.”

The announcement immediately drew praise from Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, herself a vocal proponent of disbanding the local police force, despite downplaying the controversial plan as “reimaging policing.”

While the idea to either upend the police force entirely or drastically reduce its funding has been gaining traction on the back of the George Floyd protests, many have grown skeptical about the concept, sounding alarm that the proposal to replace them with a “community-led system” might lead to ultimate chaos that would hit the most vulnerable communities hardest.


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