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Why the Minneapolis City Council Changed Their Mind on Abolishing Police

It should come as no surprise to anyone that city after city who oh so very quickly jumped to defund and disband their police forces in late May after the death of George Floyd have just as quickly, if not reluctantly, realized that they will fail. Sure, they can take away funding quite easily, but as Minneapolis, Minnesota is figuring out, it’s another entirely to up and dismantle the only the crime-fighting force in the city.

And according to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis City Council has all but forgotten their not so well-laid plans.

“The Minneapolis City Council’s resolve to end the city’s police department has lost momentum, the result of the failure to get the question before voters in November and council members’ diverging ideas on the role of sworn officers in the future.”

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The outlet noted that in the “three months since nine council members pledged to end the department following George Floyd’s killing, the city has experienced a surge in violent crime, another night of unrest and blowback from residents who felt they had been left out of the initial conversation about change.”

One of the significant problems with the council’s plans is that, well, there hasn’t been any. Nearly every member has made plenty of statements, but nothing that even remotely resembles a blueprint for what the city will look like without the current police force.

And with no plan in place, the city’s Charter Commission has refused to put the idea before the people on a November ballot. After all, how can the citizens of Minneapolis vote on a plan that hasn’t even been formulated yet?

Naturally, when the idea as refused as part of this year’s ballot, the council tried to throw together a quick summary saying that whatever it was, it would likely include the police force.

But that only begs more questions.

If you now plan on having a police force as part of your city’s protection, why not utilize the one you already have? Sure, some things may need to change. But isn’t that going to much quicker, not to mention, more realistic than disbanding them entirely only to reform them later?

For Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality, she says the city has vastly missed “the opportunity to create actual change.” Gross says, “It’s almost as if changing the police is a bad word, and you’re supposed to be talking instead about getting rid of police.”

And for City Council President Lisa Bender, that is precisely how it is. When the conversation first began, she was one of the loudest to demand complete abolishment of the force. She was also the one who quite foolishly said that calling the police for property crimes was proof you were “privileged.”

However, in recent weeks, she has walked back on that a bit. No, she hasn’t really stated that her intentions have changed much. But apparently, those intentions are a lot harder to make into reality than she previously thought.

The told the Tribune, “I think when you make a statement and then move into policy work, it gets more complicated.” She added that in the next few weeks, she plans on getting together with other city employees and hashing out a way to get the public’s opinion of what changes are needed and then work from there.

Really? You mean plans don’t just fall out of the sky and into your lap? How shocking!

I mean, how absurd is this?

But even more bizarre is that Bender and her posse didn’t seem to feel the need to get the public’s opinion before now. Instead, in their anger or self-righteousness or whatever you want to call it, they blurted out a half-baked idea and promised to make it happen.

They didn’t ask the citizens of Minneapolis how they felt about it. They didn’t ask anyone for permission. And they certainly didn’t think about all that it would take to put the plans in motion.

Maybe if Bender had put just a fraction of thought into this before she pledged to see it through, she would realize just how impossible, not to mention irrational, it is. But that’s not really how Democrats work, is it?


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