Minneapolis councilors have voted to abolish the city’s police force in a historic move that comes after days of protests over the killing of George Floyd.
The city council voted with a three-quarters majority to begin the process of dismantling the ‘toxic’ police department on Sunday – and although 38-year-old mayor Jacob Frey objects, he does not have the power to veto the move.
According to CNN, While the exact next steps are unclear, plans put forward by community activists in past years call for:
- Funds to be taken from the police department and moved into community services aimed at preventing crime
- Money would instead go to mental health services, social services, jobs programs, and arts groups
- Jobs such as traffic stops, overdose call-outs and mental health calls would be taken away from officers
- A smaller, more-specialized force of ‘public servants’ would deal with solving violent crimes
- County sheriffs, whose jurisdiction includes Minneapolis, could be used as a stop-gap police force
The move will likely face legal challenges, including from the city’s police union which has so far resisted attempts at reform and could get tied up for months in red tape.