Minneapolis Council Moves Forward With Plan To Abolish Police, Suggests Implementing Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention Instead

The city council for Minneapolis is moving forward with its plans to abolish the police force.

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted on a proposal that would change the city charter to allow the city’s police department to be removed following the tragic police-killing of George Floyd. The vote will still need to go through a variety of processes in order to make it to ballots in November, WOWT reports. The move comes not just from the murder of #GeorgeFloyd but from a number of recent shootings that have taken place in Minneapolis, which have led to residents calling for the defunding and dismantling of the police department.

The community highlighted a long and ongoing history of police brutality and racist acts committed by the department over the years; and the majority of the city’s council stood in solidarity with the motion. The first step in the process, according to NBC 6 News, is amending the city charter. In place of the police would be a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, according to a draft of the amendment, which was posted online. The amendment states that the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention would “have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach.”

The council members who are in support of the plan are looking into changing current police protocols and behavior. If they are unable to get the charter on the ballot by November, they won’t be able to try again until November 2021. “It is time to make structural change. It is time to start from scratch and reinvent what public safety looks like,” said Council Member Steve Fletcher. The outlet reports that amendment is expected to be approved this Friday, and then it will move on to a policy change committee. After that, it will then move on to the city’s Charter Commission for formal review.

Chairman of the Charter Commission, Barry Clegg, says he feels the process is being rushed. “As I understand it, they are saying, ‘We are going to have this new department. We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet. We won’t implement this for a year; we’ll figure it out. For myself anyway, I would prefer that we figured it out first, and then voted on it,” Clegg said.

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