A few blocks down from where the May 25 killing of George Floyd took place at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, City Council President Lisa Bender announced plans to dissolve the Minneapolis Police Department during a rally at Powderhorn Park on Sunday (June 7).
The Minneapolis City Council reportedly has the nine out of 12 veto-proof majority it needs to pass the proposal. Bender said the MPD has failed to protect the people of the city.
“Our commitment is to do what is necessary to keep every single member of our community safe and to tell the truth that the Minneapolis Police are not doing that,” Bender said during her speech. “Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”
The council has plans on establishing a discourse with the community on what a “community-led” system will look like moving forward. In Time Magazine, Ward 3 councilor Steve Fletcher penned an op-ed suggesting for mental health professionals to be dispatched during mental health crises, fire department EMTs for opioid overdose calls, and the use of the city’s parking enforcement team for traffic.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made it known on Saturday (June 6) that he was totally against the disbanding of the police department. He has been supportive of other police reforms in the city such as harsher discipline for officers to turn off their body cameras and the banning of “Bulletproof Warrior” training, which encourages the use of deadly force if they feel their lives are in danger.
Even with these reforms, it simply has not been enough. According to The Appeal, the amount of crimes the MPD solves is critically low. In 2019, only 56 percent of murder cases were solved and in 2018, four out of five rapes went uncleared. In November, an estimated 1,700 untested rape kits dating back to the 1990s was recently discovered.
Before the city council’s announcement, Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minneapolis already made the move to diminish or sever their relationship ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.