The Minneapolis City Council vowed late Sunday to dismantle the city’s police department.
Nearly two weeks after the tragic death of George Floyd, nine of the veto-proof council’s 13 members stood before activists and pledged to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists.
The council did not officially vote on a resolution, but Councilwoman Alondra Cano said their pledge “signals a strong and clear direction about where this is going,” the New York Times reported.
Last week, Council President Lisa Bender confirmed she would lead the charge to defund and dismantle the city’s police department. She said that it would be replaced with a “transformative new model of public safety,” although she did not provide further details.
On Sunday, the council declared that reform efforts have failed, making their current actions necessary.
“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions,” they said, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. “We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.”
Unfortunately for Minneapolis residents, the council did not explain what systems would replace the police department.
According to the Star Tribune, some of the coming changes may include dispatching social workers and mental health professionals in situations where police ordinarily respond.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, has said that he does not support abolishing his city’s police department. On Sunday, he reaffirmed that position.
“I’ll work relentlessly with Chief Arradondo and alongside community toward deep, structural reform and addressing systemic racism in police culture. And 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,” he said in a statement, KMSP-TV reported.
The Cato Institute released a study last week showing that a majority of Americans do not support defunding or dismantling police departments.