Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender confirmed news Thursday night of the council's intentions to "dismantle" the city's police department in the aftermath of George Floyd's death and the resulting protests and riots that erupted across the country.
TheBlaze reported Thursday that several members on the council were seriously considering disbanding the police and putting a new form of public safety in its place. Now, given Bender's definitive statement on the matter, that action appears even more likely.
"Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety," Bender wrote on Twitter in response to fellow council member Jeremiah Ellison.
Yes. We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of… https://t.co/fqNOJaYsdP— Lisa Bender (@Lisa Bender)1591303469.0
Bender, who represents the city's Ward 10, did not go into specific detail regarding what exactly "the transformative new model of public safety" will look like in the tweet.
But on Friday morning, she retweeted a thread posted on Twitter by "Reclaim the Block," a local organization launched in 2018 that calls for divesting from the Minneapolis Police Department and reallocating funds into community health and safety programs.
Community safety practices aren’t new. Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, immigrant, and disabled communities… https://t.co/vjv1KWS13h— Reclaim the Block (@Reclaim the Block)1591365365.0
An ongoing petition launched by Reclaim the Block calls on city council members to never again vote to increase police funding in the city, initiate cuts into the police department's budget, expand investment into "community-led health and safety strategies," and compel police to stop acting violently toward community members.
The organization's website does not list specific health and safety programs in which the council are to invest, but does generally call for more funding to be granted toward education and health care rather than law enforcement. It also suggests ideas such as sending a "mental health response team" rather than police to mental health crisis situations and focusing on youth care rather than criminalization.