Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is the latest voice in an indignant chorus of lawmakers who want to diminish, defund, or entirely disband police departments across the country. The Democratic congresswoman said Friday that the Minneapolis Police Department is “beyond reform.”
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender announced Friday that the council intends to have the city’s police department “dismantled” and replaced with a “transformative new model of public safety.”
Omar made it known on social media that she is in favor of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department.
On Twitter, she shared a Time article titled, “I’m a Minneapolis City Council Member. We Must Disband the Police–Here’s What Could Come Next,” written by Steve Fletcher, a city council member for Ward 3 in Minneapolis.
Fletcher wrote: “I am one of many on the Council, including the Council President and the Chair of Public Safety, who are publicly supporting the call to disband our police department and start fresh with a community-oriented, non-violent public safety and outreach capacity.”
In addition to the article, Omar wrote: “The Minneapolis Police Department has proven themselves beyond reform. It’s time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis. Thank you to @MplsWard3 for your leadership on this!”
In another tweet, Omar wrote: “Police violence is a threat to public safety. We must allocate resources to ensure that all instances of death or injury in police custody are adequately and independently reviewed.”
“We can’t reform a system that is rotten, reimagining and reconstructing a new way forward is a better approach,” Omar tweeted. “Thankful for Minneapolis city council for their leadership on this.”
Omar shared a tweet from Jeremy Schroeder, a Minneapolis city council member representing Ward 11, that read: “I am fully committed to disinvesting in the MPD as it exists today and rebuilding a public safety system that is designed to serve the public with compassion and respect – with enough guardrails to prevent another tragedy like George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police.”
Jeremiah Ellison, Minneapolis city council member representing Ward 5 and son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, also proclaimed that the police would be disbanded.
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” Ellison tweeted. “And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”
Minneapolis isn’t the only major city looking to significantly reduce the role of cops. On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was cutting funds from the Los Angeles Police Department.
“We will not be increasing our police budget,” Garcetti said.
The mayor said that he would cut $250 million from his previously proposed budget, and the money would be reallocated to communities of color “so we can invest in jobs, in education and healing.”
LAPD Commission President Eileen Decker announced that $100 million to $150 million of those budget cuts will come from the police department’s budget.