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The Cities Taking Up Calls to Defund the Police

Minneapolis councilmembers took a remarkable step in pledging to disband its police department. Other cities are heeding demands to reduce police resources.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is confronted at a demonstration about whether he will fully defund the police. When he says no, he is asked to leave the protest.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is confronted at a demonstration about whether he will fully defund the police. When he says no, he is asked to leave the protest.Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

On June 7, members of the Minneapolis city council announced something that just weeks ago might have seemed politically untenable: They would disband the Minneapolis Police Department entirely, and start over with a community-led public safety system. Though the mayor reaffirmed on Monday that he wouldn’t support the dissolution of the force, the council has secured a veto-proof majority.

“Our commitment is to do what’s necessary to keep every single member of our community safe and to tell the truth: that the Minneapolis Police are not doing that,” city councilmember Lisa Bender said at a rally. “Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, to end policing as we know it, and to recreate systems of public safety that actually keep us safe.”