"It is time to start from scratch and reinvent what public safety looks like.”
Minneapolis Council Member Steve Fletcher as the city government prepares its first vote on abolishing the police department in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
- The proposal would replace the police department with the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention,
- Draft proposal: The director of this department would not have law enforcement experience but a background in public health and lead a group of licensed peace officers.
- The proposal is quite some way from becoming law – this would be the first step among many but if the proposal passes procedural votes it could end up on the public ballot in November.
- Minneapolis Mayor Frey has said he is not for abolishing the police. “There is a significant lack of clarity. And if I’m seeing a lack of clarity, so are our constituents.”
- Steven Belton, president and chief executive of Urban League Twin Cities: “The problem that needs to be stated up front, from my perspective, is racism. … I’m not sure what they are trying to fix here,”
- Why It Matters: In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody, calls to “defund the police” have echoed nationwide. In different cities, “defund the police” appeals have more specifically led to proposal to reallocate some police funding to other social services. Minneapolis would be the first major U.S. city to start a complete disbanding of their police department.
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