Minneapolis, MN (CNN) — 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.
There’s a growing call to defund the police. Here’s what it means: Council President Lisa Bender told CNN that with the nine votes the city council members would have a veto-proof majority of the council’s 13 members. Pressed for details on what the dismantling might look like, Bender told CNN police funding would be shifted to other needs, and 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,” Bender said.
The nine council members made the announcement at a community rally in Minneapolis. News of the announcement was first reported by The Appeal. Calls by some to defund or outright abolish police departments have grown in the wake of Floyd’s death and nationwide protests against police brutality.
City council members had previously said they would take steps to dismantle the police department, including Bender, who tweeted earlier this week, “Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”
Minneapolis mayor booed by protesters after refusing to defund and abolish police Jeremiah Ellison, city councilman for Ward 5, tweeted a similar message Thursday, writing, “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. 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.”
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by protesters Saturday night when he refused to commit to defunding and abolishing the city’s police force. A spokesperson for the mayor said in a statement that he is “unwavering in his commitment to working with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo toward deep structural reforms and uprooting systemic racism.”