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After Two Weeks of Protest, Minneapolis Moves to Disband Police Department

The idea may not be quite as radical as it sounds on paper.

As America moves into its third week of large-scale protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, municipalities around the country are beginning to respond.

At their core, these demonstrations are hoping to expose the reality of racism that still exists in our nation.   This is America, after all, and we have long told ourselves that there would be liberty and justice for all.

In Minneapolis, the city in which Floyd died at the hands of police, a radical new approach is being proffered.

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.

Bender would go on to push back against some common misconceptions as to what this could mean.

“(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.
The move comes as other cities around the country continue to reshape their own police departments and tactics, including several precincts who have already banned the use of chokeholds and tear gas by their officers.

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