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Minneapolis to defund, dismantle its police department

ANI | Updated: Jun 08, 2020 15:08 IST


Minneapolis [USA], June 8 (ANI): At least nine members of the Minneapolis City Council on Sunday announced they intend to defund and dismantle the city's police department following the police killing of George Floyd.
"We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe," Council President Lisa Bender told CNN.
With nine votes the city council would have a veto-proof supermajority of the council's 13 members, Bender said.
Sunday's pledge was an acknowledgement that the current system is not working, Bender said.
"(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of colour, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community," she said.
Bender told the media that she was looking to shift the police funding toward community-based strategies and that the city council would discuss how to replace the current police department.
"The idea of having no police department is certainly not in the short term," she added.
Bender and other council members analysed the nature of 911 calls by constituents, she said, and found most were for mental health services, health and EMT and fire services.
Calls by some to defund or outright abolish police departments have grown in the wake of Floyd's death and nationwide protests against police brutality.
City council members had previously said they would take steps to dismantle the police department, including Bender, who tweeted earlier this week, "Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety."
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by protesters Saturday night when he refused to commit to defunding and abolishing the city's police force.
The city council's announcement came as protests stretched into their thirteenth day on Sunday.
Saturday's protests drew some of the largest crowds since the demonstrations began -- especially in Washington, DC. But chants of "Black Lives Matter" were not only heard in US this weekend, but in cities around the globe, including in France, Germany, England, Australia and Canada.
Despite experts' concerns about coronavirus spread, the peaceful crowds decrying police brutality and demanding both justice for George Floyd and sweeping changes within the country's policing systems continue to swell in size. (ANI)

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