Defund police – then what?
We can understand the feelings behind the demands that Minneapolis defund its police department following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis PD. His death was the latest in a litany of deaths of black men and women at the hands of police, not just in America but in Minnesota as well. People who feel their complaints about police brutality and violence are unheard are now calling to get rid of the police.
But a nine-member majority of the Minneapolis City Council is also subscribing to this. They feel efforts to reform the department and break the pattern of racial profiling and excessive force have been unsuccessful. They think it may be time to start fresh.
This movement to abolish the PD could happen.
If the Minneapolis City Council does undertake this mission, they’d better have a darn good idea about what will replace it.
A city the size of Minneapolis needs something to keep the peace. Whether you call it a police department, a constabulary or a department of public safety, there are certain jobs that need to be done in order to maintain a safe community. The Minneapolis City Council needs to make sure those jobs will be effectively done by qualified professionals.
It may be that the Minneapolis PD is riddled with bad cops, that it is permeated with an “us against the world” mentality and a soft disciplinary system that protects the bad ones. If it is so rotted from the inside out, then it may be necessary to tear it all down and rebuild anew.
But the people of Minneapolis need to know that they will continue to receive protection during the transition, and after such a move takes place.