Story at a glance

  • City Council President Lisa Bender said Thursday they will “dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”
  • An emergency meeting is taking place Friday to vote on some immediate changes and to set a timeline for an investigation into whether the police department engaged in racial discrimination over the past 10 years.
  • However, major changes to the police department are not expected to come soon, and Bender said discussions would likely take place later this year or next.

Minneapolis City Council members are expected to hold an emergency meeting Friday to vote on some of the first changes to the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd, with some of the council’s members vowing to “dismantle” the police department, according to the Star Tribune

The council is working with the state’s Department of Human Rights on a stipulated restraining order that would require some immediate changes to the police department. The order would also set up a timeline for an investigation into whether the police department participated in racial discrimination over the last 10 years. 


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The state Department of Human Rights Tuesday filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis police department over Floyd’s death, the first time the department has kicked off a systemic investigation into the police force. 


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If approved, the order will also require approval from a judge. 

“We are really committed to working very quickly to making sure we can implement some changes immediately. We continue to have that commitment and continue to move forward with that,” State Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero told the Star Tribune, without providing specifics on the order. 

Several members of the Minneapolis City Council this week have expressed support for drastic overhauls to the way the city handles law enforcement, ranging from calls to defund the department, to suggestions that social workers, medics or mental health professionals should be sent to some calls currently handled by police. 

Council member Jeremiah Ellison, son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison — who is leading the case against the officers involved in Floyd’s death — took a more radical approach. 

“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. It’s really past due,” Ellison wrote on Twitter Thursday. 

Council President Lisa Bender joined Ellison’s call to dismantle the department. 

“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety,” Bender wrote on Twitter Thursday. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he’d support “deep, structural reforms,” to the department, but not a complete abolishment of the agency, the Star Tribune reports. 

However, major changes to the police department are not expected to come soon, Bender said discussions would likely take place later this year or next. 

“To do this kind of big work, we need a deeper, broader conversation than we’ve ever had before,” Bender told the Star Tribune. “We need white people like me and my neighbors to show up in a different way.”


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Published on Jun 05, 2020