Minneapolis City Council members intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department

“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 acknowledgment that the current system is not working, Bender said.”(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community,” she said.

Pressed for details on what the dismantling might look like, Bender told CNN she was looking to shift 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 analyzed the nature of 911 calls by constituents, she said, and found most were for mental health services, health and EMT and fire services.The nine council members made the announcement at a community rally in Minneapolis. News of the announcement was first reported by The Appeal.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.”

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