Minneapolis heads toward disbanding police in favor of ‘relational’ approach
Several days of vicious rioting and looting that mingled with peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd, have left Minneapolis in shambles.
According to the New York Post on Thursday, at least 220 buildings were set afire during the violence. Local officials peg the damage at $55 million so far.
In one of the most ludicrous moments to emerge from the Minneapolis unrest, the Post reported that Mayor Jacob Frey will seek state and federal funding to help repair the city. “We’re going to need a really big package,” Frey said.
It’s asinine to think taxpayers outside Minnesota should do or pay anything to help fix something that is entirely the city’s fault. Floyd was killed by city police and Frey did nothing to crack down on the looters. In fact, as his city was beginning to burn, Frey’s administration was handing out masks to rioters to protect them from COVID-19, Fox News reports.
But that wasn’t the only lunacy emitted by the city hall in Minnesota’s biggest city.
While some celebrities and left-wing activists are calling for “defunding” the police, some officials in Minneapolis want to abolish the city’s police department.
Writing for Time magazine’s website Friday, City Councilman Steve Fletcher noted that the department had “a decades-long history of violence and discrimination.” Oddly, he says that the city has been resistant to repeated attempts at reforming its department, even though “most of us who are currently in office in Minneapolis ran on a platform that included police reform and accountability.” Apparently they have been stymied by the department’s brass and the police union.
Added Fletcher, “Every member of the Minneapolis City Council has now expressed the need for dramatic structural change. I am one of many on the Council, including the Council President and the Chair of Public Safety, who are publicly supporting the call to disband our police department and start fresh with a community-oriented, non-violent public safety and outreach capacity.”
Some features of that include deploying “community-oriented street teams on weekend nights downtown to focus on de-escalation, and turning “traffic enforcement over to cameras and, potentially, our parking enforcement staff, rather than our police department.”
We have to get relational,” Fletcher concludes. “We can declare policing as we know it a thing of the past, and create a compassionate, non-violent future.”
Of course you can. And among his supporters is radical Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who tweeted, “The Minneapolis Police Department has proven themselves beyond reform. It’s time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis.”
Well, if the city adopts Fletcher’s it won’t have to reimagine what that looks like. As the councilman points out, during the riots the police retreated from protecting local businesses to defend an embattled precinct, which was burned to the ground. Yet it seems the only thing to slow the rioting was after Gov. Tim Walz activated and deployed the National Guard.
In Federalist 51 James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
Let’s see how long Minneapolis can control its “governed” without a police force.
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