The Minneapolis City Council has announced their intention to disband the city’s highly-criticized police force in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
City council members announced their commitment to the disbandment of the department on Sunday after a veto-proof majority vote. The city’s police department has come under intense scrutiny following Floyd death on Memorial Day after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over eight minutes while at least three officers allegedly stood idly by.
Sunday’s decision follows suite with other local partners, including Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Parka and Recreation, who have severed ties with the Minneapolis Police Department in response to Floyd’s death.
‘We’re here because we hear you. We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police,’ Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said Sunday, according to The Appeal.
‘We are here because here in Minneapolis and the cities across the United State it is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety is not keeping our communities safe. Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.’
Multiple members of the Minneapolis City Council have expressed a total lack of confidence in the police department leading up to Sunday’s decision.
‘We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,’ Council Member Jeremiah Ellison tweeted on Thursday, vowing to ‘dramatically rethink’ the city’s approach to emergency management and response.
City Council Member Steven Fletcher also wrote an op-ed in TIME, citing the departments ‘decades-long history of violence and discrimination.’
‘We can resolve confusion over a $20 grocery transaction without drawing a weapon or pulling out handcuffs,’ Fletcher wrote, referring to Floyd’s arrest which began with a report that Floyd used a bad check at a grocery store.
The alleged longstanding history of misconduct within the department, which Floyd reference, is currently under investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human rights.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that he opposed the disbandment of police during a rally on Saturday, eliciting a wave of boos and calls of ‘Shame!’ and ‘Go home, Jacob, go home!’
However, despite Frey’s opposition, the city appears poised to disband the police department, instead opting for a community-led public safety approach.
‘Our commitment is to do what is necessary to keep every single member of our community safe and to tell the truth that the Minneapolis Police are not doing that,’ Bender said on Sunday.
‘Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.’
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