The majority of Minneapolis city council members have said they want to remove the police department in favor of community-led safety. The councilmembers announced the change at a protest on June 7. Protests continued during the weekend and have shown no signs of slowing down or diminishing in size.
Multiple council members spoke about the importance of safe communities and how police have impacted their communities, most notably with George Floyd’s death in the city, which set off the global protests.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said, “our commitment is to end our toxic relationship with MPD and to end policing as we know it to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.” “This council is going to dismantle this police department, ” said Jeremiah Ellison, another councilmember. And Alondra Cano added, “we are going to create a fear-free future where every life is truly protected and respected.”
Public safety reform includes ending the funding of the police through a budget process, engaging with the community on what police-free environments look like, and how best to create safety for all Minneapolis citizens. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is against defunding the department.
Social justice organizations Black Visions and Reclaim the Block organized the meeting where the announcement was made. Both groups have been pushing the city to divest since 2018 and Miski Noor with Black Visions said, “MPD has shown us who they really are over and over and over again.”
Read all our coverage on the protests against racism in One Green Planet:
- #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Inspiring Black Voices Diversifying the Environmental Movement
- #BlackLivesMatter: Protests Against Police Brutality Continue in Full Force Across the Country
- #BlackLivesMatter: Killing Black Americans is a Public Health and Human Rights Crisis
- #BlackLivesMatter: Black Climate Activists Share their Struggles Amid Protests
- #BlackLivesMatter: George Floyd’s Memorial Service and Updates on Other Cases
Here’s what you can do:
Also, remember to register to vote if you haven’t already. This is one of the simplest ways to make your voice heard as a citizen. Here are some resources for you:
Places to donate:
- Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
- Get involved with your local BLM chapter: The full list is here or start your own.
- Many protestors are getting arrested and being held. Donate to bail funds in your city, here or here.
- HBCUBuzz has a listing of lawyers and legal resources for protestors, organized by state.
- Resources and donations by the National Police Accountability Project.
- Learn about Campaign Zero, which works to end police violence in America.
- The New York Times has put together an anti-racist reading list.
- National Black Bailout Fund, which works towards ending systems of mass incarceration and freeing imprisoned black mothers.
- Visit Louisville Community Bail Fund to contribute towards bail for protesters in Louisville.
Petitions to Sign:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Petition to end medical racism
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Tony McDade, Black trans man killed by police
- Sign the “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org
- Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.
For a more extensive resource list, please see the collection put together by Black Lives Matter.
Through this grief and anger, we must unite and work together to create the change we want to see. Let’s make sure no black child has to ever say these heartbreaking words ever again.
If you’re attending a protest, please be safe and careful and maintain social distancing, if possible. Check out our founder’s articles on #BlackLivesMatter: Killing Black Americans is a Public Health and Human Rights Crisis and 10 Inspiring Black Voices Diversifying the Environmental Movement.