A majority of the Minneapolis City Council agreed Sunday to dismantle the city’s police department after the in-custody killing of George Floyd. Councilman Jeremiah Ellison said the council would work to disband the department in its “current iteration. The plan has to start somewhere. We are not going to hit the eject button without a plan so today was the announcement of the formulation of that plan.” Ellison said that eight or nine of the council members have agreed to the move.
During a community meeting earlier on Sunday, council President Lisa Bender called the city’s relationship with the department “toxic” and vowed to “recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe. Our efforts at incremental reform have failed — period. Our commitment is to do what’s necessary to keep every single member of our community safe and to tell the truth that Minneapolis police are not doing that.”
Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement that he would work “relentlessly” with city’s police chief, Medaria Arradondo, toward “deep, structural reform” and to address “systemic racism in police culture. We’re ready to dig in and enact more community-led public safety strategies on behalf of our city. But I do not support abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department.”
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the killing of Floyd, who died when a police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The killing was captured on video by a bystander and sparked massive protests across the United States.
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