Minneapolis Council Moves To Defund Police, Establish 'Holistic' Public Safety Force

Nigerian’ officer involved in George Floyd’s death joined the police to fight racism

Nigerian’ officer involved in George Floyd’s death joined the police to fight racism

City leaders pledged to dismantle their police department after the protests against the killing of George Floyd by a now ex-Minneapolis police officer.

The City of Minneapolis has spent $63,000 on private security details for three city council members who claim they have been subjected to threats in recent weeks.

The current charter states there has to be a police department but a proposed amendment replaces that with a "Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention" that would prioritize a "holistic" and "public-health oriented" approach.

The police department, which is largely white and has long struggled to adequately reflect the racial makeup of the city, has come under even greater scrutiny as public cries to defund the department have gained traction among elected officials.

As Fox 9 reported, the three council members who have the security detail are "Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9)" all of whom have been "outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department".

Despite unanimous support Friday, the amendment faces a number of bureaucratic obstacles before voters can vote on it in November.

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Ten years from now, Council member Steve Fletcher predicted, everybody will be looking to emulate the Minneapolis model.

"The path that we're going to chart will steal the best ideas from everywhere and combine them in away that is uniquely appropriate to our city", he said.

But the local police union, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, called the measure "haphazard".

The department would be overseen by a director, nominated by the mayor and approved by the city council. One of Kueng's siblings, Radiance, said she wants to change her last name in the wake of her brother's inaction, while another sibling, Taylor, said she is glad that J. Alexander Kueng (who also goes by the name Alex Kueng) has been charged in Floyd's killing. Mayor Jacob Frey, who famously got booed out of a protest for opposing abolishing the department, argued that the proposal was unclear. He also said the measure would spread accountability from two people (currently the police chief and the mayor) to 14 people.

Suad Mire, 30, a receptionist at a mental health clinic, said she's "very torn" between supporting dismantling the police and whether reforming the existing department should be the path toward significant change.

"He said, 'Don't you think that that needs to be done from the inside?'" his mother, Joni Kueng, recalled him saying after he watched protesters block a highway years ago. She fears a reduced presence by officers citywide may lead to an increase in violence. "But I'm not sure about dismantling them".

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