The Minneapolis City Council is starting a year-long process to try to figure out what will replace the citys police department, according to newly released details.
The council unanimously passed a resolution last week to pursue a “transformative new model” of policing in the city, replacing the police department with a “community-led public safety system.” The veto-proof vote came after protests erupted nationwide over the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
According to the newly released text (pdf), the process will take a year and involve research and community engagement “with every willing community member in Minneapolis” as officials try to create a new model of public safety.
Floyd, 46, died after former police officer Derek Chauvin—who now faces second-degree murder charges—knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Calls for police reform have grown amid protests over Floyds death and against police brutality.
“The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers is a tragedy that shows that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the police department against members of our community, especially black people and people of color,” City Council President Lisa Bender wrote in the resolution.
Council members noted that Floyd was not the first person killed by Minneapolis police, and that he joins a “tragically long list of names.”
“As we respond to demands for immediate action to reduce police violence and support community safety, we will invite our community to help shape long-term transformative change, centering the voices of those most impacted by community violence and police violence,” Bender said in a statement.
Since Floyds death, there have been growing calls for officials to cut police funding and place greater emphasis on supporting essential social services. Organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement have stated they want “a national defunding of police.”
The demands of the “defund the police” movement range from calls for redistributing funds from police budgets to complementary community-based solutions, to extreme proposals of entirely disbanding police departments.
Floyds death has also fueled national discussions on overhauling police procedures, including creating a national database of excessive-force encounters, banning the use of chokeholds, and limiting legal protections for police.
The resolution states that $193 million was allocated to the Minneapolis Police Department in its 2020 budget, and that the figure is more than double the funds allocated for areas such as building affordable housing, home ownership support, small business support programs, race equity, violence prevention, family and early childhood support, youth development, and protection of civil rights.