Jun 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council vows to disband police department

Defund MPD sign

Demonstrators calling to defund the Minneapolis Police Department, June 6. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council — a veto-proof majority on the panel of 13 — signed a pledge at a rally on Sunday to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists, The Appeal first reported.

Why it matters: The move to replace the police department with a community-based public safety model answers the calls of activists who have been pushing for a massive overhaul of law enforcement in Minneapolis after the killing of George Floyd.

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was berated and told to "go home" at a protest on Saturday after refusing to commit to defunding the police department.
  • Council members said on Sunday that they had not yet fleshed out specific plans for what the new public safety system will look like, but said they would commit to working with the community and draw on past studies and policing reforms around the world for guidance, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying:

“We’re here because we hear you. We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police. We are here because here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States 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.”
— Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender

Go deeper: Black Lives Matter co-founder explains "Defund the police" slogan

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