Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, and subsequent global unrest and mass protest over systematic racism and racist policing, the Minneapolis City Council pledged on Sunday to dismantle the city’s police department.
According to the New York Times, the pledge was made by nine members of the council, which in Minneapolis is a veto-proof majority. The council plans to move away from policing toward more supportive community-based public safety initiatives, and though the city council did not provide specifics on that process, they did say they’d be working with the community to make these changes in the “coming weeks.”
It’s a big move for Minneapolis, whose mayor, Jacob Frey, refused to commit to abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department at a protest outside his house this weekend, subsequently getting booed to all hell by protestors on his sad walk-of-shame home. And it’s a big move for the rest of the country, whose citizens are turning out in droves to demand local governments defund police departments and hold police officers accountable for police brutality and frequent police killings of black Americans.
It’s unclear whether the city council’s pledge will spur similar pledges elsewhere in the United States—or whether the city council will hold true to its promise‚but it does appear that the last week-plus of mass protest has had an effect. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would cut funding to the New York Police Department in the city’s budget, which is due July 1.