Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council have expressed support for defunding the city’s police force, forming a veto-proof majority of the council’s twelve seats.
The nine members announced their support at a Sunday rally with community activist groups and signed a pledge to dismantle the department. Notably, Mayor Jacob Frey has declined to defund the Minneapolis Police Department.
The council will “abolish the Minneapolis Police system as we know it,” Council Member Alondra Cano said at the announcement. Council Member Jeremiah Ellison concurred, saying “This council is going to dismantle this police department.”
City Council president Lisa Bender also backed the proposal.
“It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” Bender said. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.”
Council members did not have a detailed proposal for a new public-safety apparatus, saying they would work with community leaders to design a “new transformative model for cultivating safety.”
Mayor Frey has pledged to work with the Minneapolis Police Department on instituting reforms, but on Sunday told a massive demonstration that he would not defund the department.
“I do not support the full abolition of the police,” Frey, a 38-year-old civil-rights lawyer, told demonstrators. Frey was immediately booed out of the rally, with protestors shouting “Shame!” and “Go home, Jacob, go home!” The mayor is up for reelection this coming November.