Minneapolis hires private security for council members after death threats

Three members are currently receiving protection.

Minneapolis is now employing private security to protect a group of city council members who have been receiving death threats. 

Security details are being provided to three council members, including Phillipe Cunningham, who confirmed a FOX 9 report about the private protection.

In a Friday tweet, Cunningham said he has "received numerous death threats since I was campaigning for either being transgender or outspoken about police accountability and systems change":

"Security was offered to me by the City, and I accepted it because I need to keep my family safe from the very real threats against me," Cunningham added in a followup tweet.

The council member also said that the temporary protection is being paid for "out of the same pool of money" that funds the mayor's own year-round security detail.

According to the aforementioned FOX 9 report, the two other council members receiving private security are Andrea Jenkins and Alondra Cano, both of whom have also been "outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department" in the wake of the George Floyd killing. 

A city spokesperson told the station that Minneapolis police aren't providing the security because department resources "are needed in the community."

On Friday, the city council voted unanimously to change the city charter so that the police forced could be replaced, though what that means will ultimately be decided by voters.

The move came a few weeks after the council announced its intentions to end the police department in its current form following Floyd's Memorial Day death. 

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