Minneapolis City Council Approves Plan To Abolish Police Force
The Minneapolis city council has unanimously approved a measure to abolish the city’s police department amid worldwide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers within the city.
While the 12-0 vote will not automatically dismantle the department, it does mark the first step in a long legislative process that faces significant obstacles.
Ultimately, the city’s voters will have the final say in the November ballot, so the process will need a lot of support by Minneapolis residents in the meantime to be successful.
City council members are hopeful their measure will prove popular within Minneapolis though, considering the continuing protests which have seen hundreds of thousands of people fighting to defund local law enforcement agencies.
The vote to abolish the police force, which took place today, June 26, will require amending the city’s charter. A draft amendment that was posted online, as per the New York Post, suggests replacing the force with a ‘Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention’.
The suggested department would consist of peace officers and would ensure public safety through ‘a holistic, public health-oriented approach’. This ties in with the council’s commitment earlier in the month, when they vowed to disband the city’s police department and instead invest in community-led public safety.
‘It is time to make structural change,’ council member Steve Fletcher told the Associated Press before the vote. ‘It is time to start from scratch and reinvent what public safety looks like.’
The proposal will have to pass through a committee before it can be reviewed by the city’s Charter Commission, then approved again by the entire city council by August 21.
The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, does not support the proposal – previously telling protesters, ‘I do not support the full abolition of the police department’ – and has power to veto it.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk