Extraordinary People

Police department responsible for George Floyd death to DISBAND as council cut funding

It has been confirmed that the Minneapolis police department will disband, with the council investing in community-led public safety instead.

Whether you have read about it in the news, protested on the streets, or signed a petition, there is a feeling that huge change is coming for the Black Lives Matter movement.

And that change has kickstarted in Minneapolis, the city where George Floyd lost his life.

It has now been confirmed that the local police department will disband, with the city council instead investing in community-led public safety.

The news dropped as ex-police officer Derek Chauvin, responsible for Floyd’s death, faces his first appearance in court today – two weeks after the tragic incident on May 25.

Speaking about the decision, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said yesterday: “We’re here because we hear you.

“We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police.

“We are here because here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States it is clear our existing system of policing and public safety is not keeping our communities safe.

“Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period.”

Council member Steve Fletcher also spoke out in support of the decision, writing in a piece for TIME magazine about the Minneapolis Police Department’s [MPD] track record of “decades-long history of violence and discrimination” – all of which are part of an ongoing Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigation.

While the efficacy of the MPD is now under the global spotlight, it has been under scrutiny for years from local activists for their inability to solve serious crimes.

For example, in 2018 they resolved just 22% of rape cases, meaning four out of every five went unsolved.

Minneapolis is not the only place that can expect change, with Los Angeles and New York City officials campaigning for unnecessarily high police budgets to be reallocated towards education, affordable housing, and other social services.

The council follow in the footsteps of fellow local organisations – including Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota – who have severed ties with MPD.

Meanwhile, over in the UK, protests continue to sweep across the country with thousands chanting for justice outside the US embassy last weekend.

There will also be another organised march taking place in London on Saturday.

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