Minneapolis Council Members Who Voted to Abolish Police Hire Private Security
Written by Luis Miguel
Shouldn’t they be hiring social workers to protect them?
After the Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposed amendment that will allow the dismantling of the police department, it came to light that three of those council members hired private security at a cost of $63,000 (thus far), or $4,500 a day, to taxpayers.
The amendment would remove requirements in the city charter for the city to maintain a police department. The 12-0 vote is the first step toward putting the issue to voters on the November ballot.
Current charter language requires the funding of a police force proportionate to the city’s population. The amendment would remove that language, as well as another section on the police department.
In place of the Minneapolis Police Department, the proposal would establish the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, which would be managed directly by the City Council, giving its 12 members greater say in law-enforcement matters than they presently possess.
“Using the bully pulpit, using the budget, using the chief’s appointment to try to move things around a little bit, but I don’t think we’ve had the kind of policy-making participation that we should have,” said Council member Cam Gordon.
The amendment would also scrap minimum officer requirements currently in place, calling on the council to instead merely ensure they are “adequately funding” the replacement department.
While “police” as such would no longer exist, there would be some armed “licensed peace officers” working under a new Division of Law Enforcement Services, which in turn would be under the purview of the director of the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.
The current charter gives the mayor complete control over the police department, including hiring the chief. The new proposal, however, would reduce the mayor’s role to that of nominating a director for the new department, who would then be appointed by the city council.
The language of the proposal specifically stipulates that the director must be a person with “non-law enforcement experience in community safety and violence prevention,” which could include “public health and restorative justice approaches.”
The appointed director would then select the head of the Law Enforcement Services Division.
It still remains unknown how the structure of this division would be different from the current police department.
Council member Andrea Jenkins cautioned the council to remember that “We can change the name of public safety, you know, the makeup, but until we really address racism, nothing is going to change.” The amendment is set to go before the Charter Commission this week.
Mayor Jacob Frey has stated that he supports “deep structural reform” and a “complete transformation” of the policing system, but does not want to abolish the police outright. He criticized the amendment for its lack of clarity.
“This amendment to our legal city charter does not provide clarity. There are more questions I have regarding this amendment than answers,” said Frey. “If this amendment passes will we still have police? If you vote for this, are you voting to abolish the police department? Or is this merely a cosmetic change where you add a bureaucratic layer, you change the name to peace officers and give them different uniforms?”
The Board of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis also criticized the amendment, calling it “irresponsable and a disservice to all Minneapolis residents.”
“This charter amendment fails to clarify questions about what replaces the police department, how it will work, and what actual steps will be done to address and prevent crime,” the union’s statement reads.
Ironically, council members Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham, and Alondra Cano have spent $63,000 in private security detail over the last three weeks, ostensibly due to death threats against them.
“I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have protecting me from those threats,” said Cunningham
Jenkins, meanwhile, claimed she felt threatened by “white nationalists” in the city. But she asserted that she has reported the alleged threats against her to Minneapolis Police because she has been preoccupied with the “global pandemic and global uprising” over the death of George Floyd. Jenkins also claimed the threats have targeted her ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality.
A spokesperson for the city said the security services are only intended as a bridge until other security measures can be put in place for members of the city council.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American