Minneapolis, Minnesota’s plan to defund and then disband their local police force has “collapsed” according to a New York Times report from over the weekend. Some of the Minneapolis City Council members who pledged to abolish the city’s law enforcement — including the City Council president — now say they regret making that promise.
The Times headline blares that the “pledge to dismantle the police department has collapsed,” and notes that “a majority of City Council members promised to ‘end policing as we know it’” after George Floyd died while in the custody of the Minneapolis police department. Instead, though “they became a case study in how idealistic calls for structural change can falter.”
Back in June, the Minneapolis City Council was clear that the Minneapolis Police Department was on borrowed time. The City Council president, Lisa Bender — a self-described progressive — told residents that she had a vision of a “transformative new model of public safety” and now-famously added that anyone worried that a lack of law enforcement would result in a spike in crime was speaking from a place of “privilege.”
At the time, Bender even challenged her fellow councilmembers to stick with the plan to dismantle the MPD, lest they be complicit in “white supremacy.”
“If you are a comfortable white person asking to dismantle the police I invite you to reflect: are you willing to stick with it? Will you be calling in three months to ask about garage break-ins? Are you willing to dismantle white supremacy in all systems, including a new system?” she mused.
She got the timeline nearly right — for herself. Bender is now among those who say abolishing the police is not the right approach.