In a unanimous vote, the Minneapolis City Council officially approved a measure to abolish the police force on Friday.
Though the 12-0 vote will not completely dismantle the police force, it is the first step in a lengthy process that will culminate in the residents of the Minnesota city voting on the legislation in the November election, according to the New York Post.
This measure came in direct response to the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody last month in Minneapolis.
Disturbing footage went viral showing now-former Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck as the man desperately told him that he couldn’t breath.
Chauvin has since been arrested for Floyd’s murder, as have the three other officers who were involved.
The city council responded to Floyd’s death by introducing this measure to abolish the police force and replace it with the “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.”
The department that they are envisioning would consist of peace officers who would protect the public through “a holistic, public health-oriented approach.”
“It is time to make structural change,” council member Steve Fletcher told the Associated Press before the vote.
“It is time to start from scratch and reinvent what public safety looks like.”
The next step for this measure is for it to pass through a committee before it is reviewed by the city’s Charter Commission.
Once this happens, it will have to be approved again by the entire city council in a meeting that is scheduled for August 21.
“I hope that the Charter Commission will recognize the moment that we are in and take our offer of support, however we can provide it, to expedite this process so that voters have a chance to have their voices heard on this important question and this important moment in our city’s history,” Council President Lisa Bender said, according to Daily Mail.
It should be noted that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey does not support this measure and will have the power to veto it, should it continue to pass through these various legislation hoops.
Barry Clegg, chairman of the Charter Commission, also does not seem to be a huge fan of the measure, as he said the process seems rushed.
“As I understand it, they are saying, ‘We are going to have this new department. We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet. We won’t implement this for a year, we’ll figure it out,’” Clegg said. “For myself anyway, I would prefer that we figured it out first, and then voted on it.”
This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on June 27, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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