In the aftermath of the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, many protesters have demanded that changes in training, funding and policies be made to police departments nationwide in an effort to end racist practices and systemic violence against African American communities. The City Council in Minneapolis — where Floyd was killed by police last month — has since vowed “dismantle” their police department so that these necessary changes can be made.
“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,” City Council President Lisa Bender said on Sunday (June 7). “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.”
Fellow Minneapolis Council Member Jeremiah Ellison shared a similar sentiment on Twitter, writing, “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. It’s really past due.”
J. Cole — who has been active in protests in his home state of North Carolina — responded to the City Council’s announcement on Twitter.
“Powerful powerful,” he tweeted.
The Minneapolis City Council’s plan follows several protests that have demanded their city’s police department receive less funding. On Sunday (June 7), New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio promised to cut the police budget and redirect those funds toward youth initiatives and social services.
“We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense,” he said in a press conference.
See Cole’s approval of the idea below.