The Minneapolis City Council announced that they have a veto-proof majority in favor of disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department. The MPD caused worldwide protests after four of their officers killed George Floyd during an arrest. The city council is signaling that they will be disbanding the police force and the mayor is pushing back.

Minneapolis City Council is going to be dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department.

Minneapolis has been the center of the conversation of police brutality. Four Minneapolis Police Department officers killed George Floyd while arresting him leading to worldwide protests. The unrest has led to changes within some police departments and Minneapolis is about to witness the harshest response to police brutality.

Organizers are pointing to the announcement as proof that the protests are working.

Minneapolis has experienced 10 days of sustained demonstrations. All the while, the protesters were demanding the same thing from the Minneapolis government: actions against the police. This announcement is just the latest in the success touted by the movement.

“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,” Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said in a statement Sunday. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”

The Minneapolis Police Department has already started to see the effects of the protest.

The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation have all cut ties with the MPD. The cancellation of these contracts have cost the police department millions of dollars as more organizations in Minneapolis find ways to limit police activity.

There is a nuanced conversation about what defunding the police means that many are not listening to.

Activists are not calling for police to be completely eliminated. One of the best ways to curb deadly over-policing is to redirect resources and money to organizations and other departments equipped to handle them. For example, drug overdoses are one call for which the police should not be the go-to. Those calls are better handled as a healthcare issue rather than a criminal matter.

There is also a larger discussion needed to be done that is about reinvesting into communities of color. The communities that are dealing with the deadly practice of over-policing could benefit from more funds flowing into their communities for education and outreach.

“It’s not just about taking away money from the police, it’s about reinvesting those dollars into black communities. Communities that have been deeply divested from, communities that, some have never felt the impact of having true resources. And so we have to reconsider what we’re resourcing. I’ve been saying we have an economy of punishment over an economy of care,” Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, told WBUR.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was asked if he would support disbanding the police in front of a crowd of protesters and they were not happy with his answer.

Mayor Frey’s answer to the question drew anger from protesters who want him to commit to defunding the Minneapolis Police Department After saying he was not in favor of the decision to defund the police, he was booed out of the crowd.

What do you think about the movement to defund police in the U.S.?

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