Minneapolis mayor: No change in position on calls to defund police after being booed
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said late Monday that he was being “honest” when he said over the weekend that he disagreed with protesters who called for defunding the city’s police department, sparking boos.
“My rule of thumb throughout has been be open, be honest, be transparent, and so, yes, I came outside, I sat down with the protesters and they called me up and asked me if was willing right there to commit to getting rid of the police, and I was honest” Frey told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“If we’re talking about massive cultural shift in the way our police department does business, I’m on board. If we’re talking about major structural reforms that pushes back on the horrid nature of how our police departments have treated black and brown communities, I am fully on board. But if we’re talking about abolishing the entire police department, I was honest, that’s not where I am,” he continued.
Frey also said that people “are right to be frustrated right now.”
“They’re right to be angry and sad and upset. I mean let’s be very real here, George Floyd was murdered by one of our police officers,” he added, referring to the unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody, sparking protests nationwide.
He also told Cuomo that leaders and organizers must “harness all of that energy, anger and sadness that we have and commit to real-time, real reforms.”
Video went viral over the weekend of protesters chanting “Go home, Jacob” and booing the Minneapolis mayor outside of his home after he told demonstrators that he did not support defunding the city’s police department.
“If you’re asking whether I will do everything possible to push back on the inherent inequities that are literally built into the architecture, the answer is yes,” Frey told protesters on Saturday.
“If you’re asking whether I’m willing to do everything I possibly can throughout the rest of my term to make sure that the police union, the police contract, the arbitration system and some of these policies that have resulted in problems for specifically black and brown people and murder over series of generations, I’m all for that,” he continued.
The calls for defunding police departments and police reforms across the country come after Floyd’s death last month. Floyd died after a white former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged on Sunday to disband the local police department and replace it with a new public safety model.