Minneapolis City Council votes to defund the police despite rapidly rising crime

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(thepostmillennial)The Minneapolis City Council voted Thursday to move $8 million from the city’s 2021 police budget to other city services as part of an effort following George Floyd’s death to “transform” public safety, the Washington Post reports.

Mayor Jacob Frey called the police budget cuts “irresponsible” and threatened to veto the budget due to an uptick in citywide violence and man officers choosing to leave the force in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death the subsequent demonization of law enforcement.

Mayor Frey made a statement praising the council for subtracting language that would have permanently removed 130 officers from the force, calling it “a defining moment for our city,” the Post reports.

“My colleagues were right to leave the targeted staffing level unchanged from 888 and continue moving forward with our shared priorities,” Mayor Frey said.

Mayor Frey was booed by leftwing protesters during demonstrations that took place over the summer for not advocating a full abolition of the city’s police force.

Under what is being dubbed the “Safety for All” plan, the  $8 million taken from the police budget will reportedly be reallocated to fund violence prevention measures, “mental health crisis teams,” and to have non-uniform employees deal with property damage and theft calls, the Independent reported.

The vote came following days of heated public hearings and debates addressing the “Safety for All” plan’s efficacy during a period of rising crime.

“Believe me, this is not an easy vote to take, but I believe it is right,” Andrea Jenkins, a council member who represents an area of the city adjacent to where Floyd was killed, said.

Violent crime has been quickly rising in Minneapolis, with 3,674 violent crimes logged in 2020 as of late September, a 17 percent increase over the previous 5 year average, Minn Post reports.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo argued that funding would be needed for overtime pay since the force was down 166 officers due to resignations and officers on leave, according to the Independent.

“In the first budget since George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, the City Council has adopted a budget that invests in specific, concrete actions to transform community safety starting in 2021,” Council President Lisa Bender said.

“The City Council has stepped up to lead, working together to respond to complex demands from a community reeling from police violence, community violence and the social unrest that followed George Floyd’s death. The City Council’s adopted budget invests in a mental health response, community safety and violence prevention and takes common-sense actions to move parking and report-only calls out of the police department next year,” she continued.

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