Minneapolis Continues to Weigh Dismantling Police

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Despite last year’s failed effort to change the city’s charter, which governs the structure and size of the police department, and therefore dismantle the city’s police department to create a new model of policing, Minneapolis officials continue to push for change. They have introduced another charter to radically reimagine its policing system, reports Vox. The new proposals from both the city council and Yes 4 Minneapolis, a local petition to replace the Minneapolis police department, were introduced with these issues in mind: Cushions have been built into the approval deadlines, with community outreach to explain exactly what policing changes would happen. The two proposals are very similar. Neither would take away armed police officers; instead, both plans would place them in a newly created department of public safety, which would also contain other safety officials, including mental health experts and anti-violence professionals. Both would also eliminate the staffing and budget language around police written into the city charter, changing the requirement that, by law, that the city would need to have at least 0.0017 police department employees per resident.

The proposals differ in minor ways; the Yes 4 Minneapolis proposal, for instance, mandates that the department of public safety focus on “a comprehensive public health approach to safety,” language the city council plan lacks. The council proposal outlines how the police chief will be selected (by the mayor and approved by the council), details the Yes 4 Minneapolis plan doesn’t include. In order to be instituted, the proposals need to be approved by the majority of voters, and there are plans to put the question of changing the charter on the ballot for Minneapolis’s municipal elections in November. See also: Minneapolis Council Member Steve Fletcher on defunding plans in reports from H.F. Guggenheim Conference.

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