Three Minneapolis City Council members (Steve Fletcher, Jeremy Schroeder, and Phillipe Cunningham) proposed legislation to abolish the police department but still keep law enforcement officers. They would then create a Department of Public Safety and not have any law enforcement minimum within the city.
Fletcher said in a statement, “Minneapolis residents are imagining a comprehensive public safety approach that is more effective and more reflective of our values, and they are calling on the city to act. This charter amendment creates a structure that supports that vision and allows our city to innovate.”
Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey, has admitted he would want to see public safety take more alternative steps in achieving that goal but feels as though this proposal would take away the blame from police officers.
He said, “”I believe in a comprehensive approach. That’s what we’re hearing from people. We are not hearing people want to dilute accountability by having the head of public safety report to 14 people.”
This isn’t the first time these three councilmen tried out a similar proposal. After they used the death of George Floyd as a vehicle for the destruction of the police department, they failed in the creation of the Division of Law Enforcement Services last year.
If passed through the Minneapolis Charter Commission, the proposal could be on the ballot come this November.