Minneapolis City Council members commit to disbanding police department: 'Efforts at incremental reform have failed'

Minneapolis City Council members commit to disbanding police department: 'Efforts at incremental reform have failed'
Image via Screengrab.

A veto-proof majority of Minneapolis City Council members committed Sunday to disbanding the city's police department and "replacing it with a holistic model of public safety" in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, which sparked a nationwide uprising against law enforcement brutality and galvanized demands for sweeping change.

The Appeal's Jay Willis first reported the move, noting that "for years, activists have argued that MPD has failed to actually keep the city safe, and City Councilmembers echoed that sentiment today."

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told The Appeal that disbanding the police department is necessary because "our efforts at incremental reform have failed."

"We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department," Bender said. "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 neighbors.

"Our commitment is to do what is necessary to keep every member of our community safe and to tell the truth that the police department has not done that," Bender added. "Our commitment is to end our city's toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department and to work toward ending policing as we know it, replacing it with a holistic model of public safety that actually keeps us safe. The good news is that we are not starting from scratch, we have invested in community safety strategies and alternatives to policing for years."

During a rally in Powderhorn Park Sunday afternoon, Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison said "this council is going to dismantle this police department." Councilmember Alondra Cano echoed Ellison, vowing to "abolish the Minneapolis Police system as we know it."

While the specific details of the plan to disband and replace the Minneapolis police department are unclear, the commitment by members of the city council was celebrated as evidence that mass, sustained pressure is producing results.

"Thirteen days ago, the Minneapolis PD murdered George Floyd," tweeted meteorologist Eric Holthaus. "Today, the Minneapolis City Council has vowed to disband the Minneapolis PD. Don't tell me radical and transformative change can't come quickly. We've got a better world to create."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.