A veto proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council has announced that they are moving forward with defunding and dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department in the immediate future in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody last month.
“We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe,” Council President Lisa Bender told CNN.
“(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community,” she said.
Council members made it clear that this was not going to be a move towards anarchy, but rather a complete rebuilding of how policing would work in the city from the ground up.
“The idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term,” she added.
Jeremiah Ellison, city councilman for Ward 5, added, “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.”
George Floyd was killed while handcuffed in police custody on May 25th in Minneapolis. Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who can be seen in videos with his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck has been arrested and charged with 3rd degree murder. The other three officers who were involved in the arrest have not yet been charged.
The killing has sparked widespread, nationwide protests, which in many instances have, at times, turned into rioting, looting, and property destruction. Hundreds of people have been arrested and injured. One federal law enforcement officer has been killed along with several civilians and numerous injuries among officers and protesters.
The National Guard has been deployed in several states in an effort to keep the peace.
Many state and local leaders have accused outside provocateurs of hijacking protests and turning them violent for their own reasons. Among the groups accused of doing this are ANTIFA, alt-right groups, and white supremacy groups.