The City of Minneapolis has vowed to totally dismantle the city’s police department in favour of a new community safety model, nearly two weeks after George Floyd lost his life under Minneapolis Police custody.
The New York Times reports that nine out of thirteen city council members voted in favour of the measure, signalling that the Minneapolis Police Department, as the city knows it, is beyond repair.
“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions,” council members said in a joint statement Monday.
“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.”
“This council is going to dismantle this police department,” Jeremiah Ellison (@jeremiah4north) said today of the @MinneapolisPD at a massive community meeting at Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/UkhKOU22hO
— emma! ☮ 🍀 #FreeAssange (@bymyelf) June 7, 2020
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 7, 2020
Speaking to CNN, Council President Lisa Bender said the council had identified the majority of calls to emergency line 911 seek assistance from firefighters and paramedics, or mental health professionals.
But “the idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term,” she said.
What comes next is yet to be determined. The NYT states council members will draw from international studies and other public safety models to shape the new system.
The announcement comes a day after Mayor Jacob Frey was booed at a protest against police brutality, after he refused to sign on to the whole police abolition situation.
“Go home Jacob! Go home!”
— ABC News (@ABC) June 7, 2020
The council’s decision marks a major turning point in the global social movement against racial injustice and police brutality – and the toxic intersection of those two issues.
All four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been charged.
Derek Chauvin, who was filmed holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, is expected to face court tomorrow.