The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously today to approve a resolution intended to abolish the existing police force and replace it with something else. What exactly that is hasn’t been spelled out yet.
“We acknowledge that the current system is not reformable — that we would like to end the current policing system as we know it,” council member Alondra Cano said.
The resolution starts a yearlong process to create a new public safety model. All 12 City Council members are listed as co-authors…
The council will start a yearlong process “of community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety,” the resolution says.
The actual resolution is here. Here’s a sample of the contents:
Whereas, police violence and the use of excessive force have led to community destabilization, a decrease in public safety, and the exacerbation of racial inequities in Minneapolis…
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis:
That the City Council will commence a year long process of community engagement, research, and structural change to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city.
Be It Further Resolved that the City Council will engage with every willing community member in Minneapolis, centering the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm, and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system. Together, we will identify what safety looks like for everyone…
Be It Further Resolved that these efforts heed the words of Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.”
Well, at least they didn’t quote Assata Shakur. The resolution establishes a “Future of Community Safety Work Group” which is to report back to the City Council on progress toward the new goal.
Part of me wants to be optimistic that, in the American tradition of trying something new, Minneapolis will come up with something that does actually limit the innumerable things police are now responsible for while also improving the department’s relationship with the black community. But the clear history of five-year plans and great leaps forward is that the most ambitious plans rarely end in triumph. More likely it will end in some new and worse disaster. That or it will end with nothing much changing at all as people make demands create conditions police are unable to accept.
For instance, some portion of the working group could demand that police be disarmed. But at the end of the day, we are going to have to have armed police officers on hand to respond to murder, assault, threats, thefts, etc. If you say police in Minneapolis can’t be armed, you’re likely to see a lot of officers quit and move somewhere else. No one wants to risk their life because some socialist crackpot thought it was a good idea.
Speaking of officers in Minneapolis, I can’t believe all of them are happy about what is happening here. I’m sure some of them want to see change but this is really a vote of no confidence in their efforts. Will there be a wave or resignations in the coming weeks? How long before we hear from some of the people now on the force?