Minneapolis City Council Members Announce Intent To Disband The Police Department, Invest In Proven Community-Led Public Safety – The Appeal

We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” tweeted Council Member Jeremiah Ellison on June 4, pledging to “dramatically rethink” the city’s approach to emergency response. In a TIME op-ed published the next day, Council Member Steve Fletcher cited the MPD’s lengthy track record of misconduct and “decades-long history of violence and discrimination”—all of which are subjects of an ongoing Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigation—as compelling justifications for the department’s disbandment. “We can resolve confusion over a $20 grocery transaction without drawing a weapon or pulling out handcuffs,” Fletcher wrote. 

For years, activists have argued that MPD has failed to actually keep the city safe, and City Councilmembers echoed that sentiment today during their announcement. MPD’s record for solving serious crimes in the city is consistently low. For example, in 2019, Minneapolis police only cleared 56 percent of cases in which a person was killed. For rapes, the police department’s solve rate is abysmally low. In 2016, their clearance rate for rape was just 22 percent. In other words, four out of every five rapes go unsolved in Minneapolis. Further casting doubt on the department’s commitment to solving sexual assaults, MPD announced last year the discovery of 1,700 untested rape kits spanning 30 years, which officials said had been misplaced. 

Law enforcement officers are not equipped to be experts in responding to mental health crises, often leading to tragic results—nationally, about half of police killings involve someone living with mental illness or disability. As a result, public health experts have long advocated for dispatching medical professionals and/or social workers, not armed police, to respond to calls related to substance use and mental health. Polling from Data for Progress indicates that more than two-thirds of voters—68 percent—support the creation of such programs, versions of which are already in place in other cities such as, Eugene, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Denver, Colorado. 

Minneapolis City Council Members Announce Intent To Disband The Police Department, Invest In Proven Community-Led Public Safety – The Appeal

AGR; The myth is that the police can solve mental health issues as mental health professionals, be social workers, and resolve disputes between neighbors involving little or no money, get rid of homeless problems, be suicide crisis intervention experts, respond to calls by racists, and deal with people intent on doing harm or causing deaths, with a bare minimum of weeks/training and no professional degrees.

In other countries police go through 2 to 4 years of training to even be minimally qualified as a police officer. These police officers do not carry weapons and end up killing zero to just a few people per year yearly in their entire countries.

In the US police kill more than 1,000 people per year, and injure another 3,000 enough to go to the hospital, as just the day to day ‘ordinary’ and normal state of affairs.