US protests latest: Minneapolis City Council plans to disband police department

US protests latest: Minneapolis City Council plans to disband police department

It comes after over a week of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. Black Lives Matter protests have been raging in response to the death, and have been seen in all 50 states and worldwide.

Minneapolis Council president Lisa Bender made the shock announcement at a Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block rally on Sunday.

The rally was held at Powderhorn Park, blocks away from where George Floyd died on May 25.

Bender says that the council’s plan is to “end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department.”

She added: “It’s our commitment to end policing as we know it, and recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”

READ MORE: George Floyd Killing: ‘Guilty’ officers must be convicted to stop police brutality – Judge

Calls to dismantle the police department have been resisted by Mayor Jacob Frey, who instead is calling for wider reforms of the city’s police department.

But the council seems to have nine out of 12 votes needed to pass a veto-proof proposal.

Also in attendance at the rally were council members Bender, Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher and others.

Bender also said at the rally: “We are also here because, here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States, it is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety isn’t working for so many of our neighbours.

“Our efforts at incremental reform have failed.

“Period.”

Bender concluded her appearance at the rally by saying that the council will start a conversation with its residents about what a new, “community-led” system will look like.

Ward 5 councillor Jeremiah Ellison said: “We don’t have all the answers for what that future looks like but the community does.”

Kandace Montgomery, the director of Black Vision at the rally, said that while the change is welcome, “It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here”.

She said: “We’re safer without armed, unaccountable patrols supported by the state hunting black people.”

It comes on the heels of another major triumph for the protestors: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Thursday plans to cut millions from the LAPD budget.

Speaking at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Los Angeles Garcetti said that his proposal to reduce LAPD spending and shift the savings to minority communities was getting attention from mayors across the country.

He said: “That’s exactly the point.

“It starts someplace, and we say we are going to be who we want to be, or we’re going to continue being the killers that we are.”

The following morning, an official with the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, accused the mayor of “political pandering” and called him “unstable.”

Published at Mon, 08 Jun 2020 00:19:00 +0000