A veto-proof majority voted in favor of the decision.
On Sunday, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council voted in favor to defund the local police department. Members expressed their desire to work with the community to create a new standard of public safety.
City Council president Lisa Bender reiterated the group’s intentions on Sunday. “Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department,” she said. “To end policing as we know it, and to re-create systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”
In addition to the city council, the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Public Schools recently decided to end or limit their relationship with the city’s police department.
Council members insisted that the local department could not be reformed. The nine members voting in favor to defund police made up a veto-proof majority. However, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey once again rejected the initiative on Sunday.
“I’ll work relentlessly alongside community toward deep structural reform and addressing systemic racism in police culture,” Frey said. “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.”
Frey is currently seeking over $55 million in federal and state aid for the city. Amidst protests following the death of George Floyd, Frey ordered a local precinct to evacuate. The building subsequently burned to the ground.
“It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here,” Kandace Montgomery of the Black Visions Collective said. “We’re safer without armed, unaccountable patrols supported by the state hunting black people.”