Minneapolis City Council Members Vow to Disband City's Police Department After George Floyd's Death

"We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response," council member Jeremiah Ellison said

George Floyd's Brother Holds Prayer Vigil At Memorial Site
George Floyd memorial site in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty

Minneapolis City Council members have announced their plan to disband the Minneapolis Police Department after the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests over racial injustice and police brutality across the nation and world.

The council members made the announcement on Sunday during the Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block rally at Powderhorn Park, just a few blocks from where Floyd died on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired and charged with second-degree murder.

"Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to re-create systems of public safety that actually keep us safe," City Council President Lisa Bender said, NBC affiliate KGW8 and Minneapolis-based outlet Bring Me The News reported.

“It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” Bender added, according to Fox 9. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.”

The veto-proof majority included nine of the council's 12 current members: Bender, Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher, Alondra Cano, Andrew Johnson, Jeremy Schroeder, Jeremiah Ellison, and Cam Gordon. (The council members not present at the rally were Kevin Reich, Lisa Goodman, and Linea Palmisano.)

George Floyd Protest
Police block the street during a protest against the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis Police, in Seattle, Washington on May 30, 2020. JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

During the rally, the council members promised to re-invest funds into community-led safety initiatives instead of the police department, Fox 9 reported. They also encouraged members of the Minneapolis community to come forward and engage in a conversation on how to build a “new transformative model for cultivating safety.”

Ahead of their formal announcement, several council members shared the news on social media, promising their constituents that change would come.

"We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together," Ellison shared on Twitter Thursday. "We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due."

After their announcement, Ward 11's Schroeder shared, "Pleased to stand with the community and my City Council colleagues today to imagine a new, better approach to public safety in Minneapolis. The time has come."

Their announcement comes after several other entities, such as Minneapolis Public Schools, the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Parks and Recreation decided to terminate their partnerships with the police department in the wake of Floyd's death.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights also announced their plans to launch an investigation into the city's police department, which will look at Minneapolis police policies and procedures throughout the last 10 years to determine whether the department has engaged in discriminatory practices toward people of color, the Star Tribune reported.

Footage of Floyd's murder was shared online and went viral, shedding light on the systemic racism and police brutality present in society.

The officer involved, Chauvin, has since been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. None of the accused has entered a formal plea.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
Related Articles