Councilors: 'We're going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department'

There are growing calls within city leadership to disband the current police force.
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Members of Minneapolis City Council are adding fuel to growing calls for the disbanding of the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

There have been rumblings in recent days of looking for alternative approaches to law enforcement and crime prevention in Minneapolis, as trust in the police department continues to plummet after the 46-year-old's death.

Chief among those calling for change is Northside council member Jeremiah Ellison, who on Thursday tweeted "we are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department."

"And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together," he added. "We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due."

Ellison, the 5th Ward council member who is the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Public Schools Board Chair Kim Ellison, is not alone in expressing a desire to bring an end to MPD in its current form.

Council president Lisa Bender backed Ellison's call, tweeting: "Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety."

Earlier on Thursday, she noted how she has "long supported moving money from MPD to community strategies."

Furthermore, she says as the council moves towards transforming law enforcement in the city, she called on the city's white community to stand up.

"If you are a comfortable white person asking to dismantle the police I invite you to reflect: are you willing to stick with it? Will you be calling in three months to ask about garage break-ins? Are you willing to dismantle white supremacy in all systems, including a new system?

"I mean this quite sincerely & seriously: just look at recent conversations about City-funded neighborhood organizations to understand how explicitly we would have to work to establish alternative systems that do not replicate the same problems. White ppl need to show up for this."

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The council has proved to be a check on Mayor Jacob Frey's efforts to increase policing in recent years, and the killing of Floyd has seen them become more and more vocal about calls for change.

Ward 3 member Steve Fletcher earlier this week accused MPD of reducing response times to his ward because he had voted for budget cuts for the department.

He said the continued presence of Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll shows that MPD is "irredeemably beyond reform."

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