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Minneapolis City Council unanimously votes to explore new model for safety following death of George Floyd

Minneapolis City Council unanimously votes to explore new model for safety following death of George Floyd
© getty: A memorial left for George Floyd who died in custody on May 26, 2020 is viewed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously voted to explore a new safety model for the city following the killing of George Floyd in police custody and ensuing civil unrest.

The passage of the resolution kicks off a yearlong process for the city to craft the new model and comes after all 12 members of the council vowed to disband the city’s police force.

“[T]he City Council will commence a year long process of community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city,” the resolution reads. 

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Lawmakers will “engage with every willing community member in Minneapolis, centering the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm, and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system,” it continues.

“Together, we will identify what safety looks like for everyone.”

The resolution creates a “Future of Community Safety Work Group” which will be staffed by employees from city departments, including the offices of violence prevention and civil rights. The body has until July 24 to present preliminary suggestions for engaging with the community and experts who can craft the safety model.

The lawmakers praised the resolution, saying Floyd’s killing laid bare systemic racism that they are determined to tackle. 

“The murder of George Floyd and the deep legacy of systemic racism that it so starkly highlighted were central drivers of this call for dramatic change. Those who are not served by our current system must be uplifted and centered in the work ahead," City Council Member Kevin Reich said in a statement. "Moving forward, our collective resources, energy and focus as a City are now formally deployed and dedicated to these ends,"

“We will continue to need folks who can respond to extreme or violent situations, but it is my hope that we can reduce our reliance on armed officers who – while necessary in some cases – are not best-suited to constructively respond to many calls (like mental health crises, reported low-level offenses, and other incidents),” added Member Jeremy Schroeder.

The city council also unanimously voted to end the local emergency order that had been declared in the aftermath of protests following Floyd’s death.

The resolution comes amid a national conversation over police use of force and public funding departments across the country receive, with some activists saying some money currently allocated to the police should instead be directed to other social services, though Republicans have dismissed the idea.