The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to replace the city’s police department with a community-led public safety system.
The measure would take place over the next year as they select people from the community to enforce whatever needs to be done.
The radical and nonsensical move comes just days after a veto-proof majority of the council voted to disband the police department after the country erupted in riots, violence, and looting over the killing of George Floyd. During the protest a Black Oakland Cop was murdered with very little coverage from MSM and no comment from the protesters on the street.
The gigantic cut to the Big Apple police department’s $6billion annual budget could see a reduction in the size of the force from 36,000 to 33,000, while removing functions like school safety and homeless outreach from the police. Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to cut the funding and move the funding over to community projects.
As of Friday, the council have started a year-long process to find recommendations for what will replace the Police department
The replacement is set to be a community-led public safety system that will redirect funds from the department and channel them into community services aimed at preventing crime
Money could be redirected to mental health services, social services, jobs programs, and arts groups
Jobs such as traffic stops, overdose call-outs and mental health calls may be taken away from officers
One recommendation from activists involves a smaller, more-specialized force of ‘public servants’ who would deal with solving violent crimes
County sheriffs, whose jurisdiction includes Minneapolis, could be used as a stop-gap police force
According to the resolution, the city council will now begin a year-long process of engaging ‘with every willing community member in Minneapolis’ to come up with a new public safety model.
It added that the process would center on ‘the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm, and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system’.
The council also commissioned a new work group named the Future of Community Safety Work Group to deliver recommendations by July 24 on how to engage with community stakeholders to transform the public safety system.
It will be made up of staff from the Office of Violence Prevention, the Department of Civil Rights, and the City Coordinator’s Office, in coordination with the 911 Working Group, the Division of Race and Equity, Neighborhood and Community Relations and other relevant departments.
‘American democracy is an experiment, each generation has an opportunity to move this experiment forward, toward living out the true meaning of its creed,’ said City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins.
‘This resolution represents our moment to contribute to the progression of equality and freedom of every resident of the City of Minneapolis.
The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, has stopped short of vying to abolish the police department, although he said this week he supported ‘massive structural reform to revise a structurally racist system’.
Elsewhere in New York City, the city council is pushing to cut the force’s budget by up to $1billion, according to New York Daily News.
The reduced budget could result in a hiring freeze that will decrease the number in the force by 3,000.
‘We believe that we can and should work to get to $1 billion in cuts to New York City’s police spending in the Fiscal 2021 budget, an unprecedented reduction that would not only limit the scope of the NYPD, but also show our commitment towards moving away from the failed policing policies of the past,’ said Council Speaker Corey Johnson in a joint statement with the chairs of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
The Council’s Budget Negotiating Team presented to prospective changes to the council members of Thursday and Friday.
However, Mayor Bill de Blasio has opposed such a large reduction, New York Daily News reports.
A source told the paper that the council was still making a decision over how the money would redistributed as the city faces a massive loss in tax revenue as a result of the coronavirus shutdown.
‘We’re still negotiating,’ they said. ‘The key areas obviously would be summer youth employment, education, health care — all of the things that created the disparities around COVID-19.’
The budget must be approved by the council and the mayor by June 30.
The Minneapolis city council’s decision came as key Republican lawmakers in the Minnesota state Senate that they’ll block most of the ambitious changes Democrats want to make to policing in the state where Floyd died.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, Warren Limmer, laid out their agenda shortly before the Legislature convened for a special session.
They said there’s only a limited amount of time to act because they intend to adjourn next Friday no matter what.
That would effectively force the state House to adjourn too, but Gazelka said lawmakers would continue to work on bigger changes.
‘Minnesota has the opportunity to lead the way for the whole nation for reconciliation of the races and some of the problems we’re addressing,’ Gazelka said. ‘Let’s begin here.’
Minnesota is one of several states where Democratic lawmakers and governors are hoping to harness the anger over Floyd´s death to remake law enforcement, including by adding new restrictions on the use of force. ADVERTISEMENT
The movement to ‘defund the police,’ as some advocates have termed it, predates the current protests.
State legislatures have been slow to tackle those issues, however, since they were thrust into the spotlight by a wave of police killings of young black men in 2014, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Yet the movement has won new support since a video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee to the neck of Floyd horrified viewers around the world.