Minneapolis tries to dismantle police, Seattle tries to dismantle CHAZ
Two American cities, separated by 1,400 miles, but joined by the shared vision of a “world-without-police,” took concrete steps today to make that vision a reality, despite the accelerating violence and death that has already accompanied the anti-police rhetoric from progressives.
In Minneapolis, the city council voted, without dissent, to get rid of the city’s police force.
“The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a proposal that would amend the city’s charter to allow the city police department to be dismantled,” reports The Hill.
“The 12-0 vote is the latest push to hold law enforcement accountable after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody on May 25. The proposal’s passage is the first step toward making the decision a ballot measure in the November general election.”
The measure, which would have to be approved by voters, would get rid of the police department in favor of the more Stalinesque-sounding Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention in Minneapolis.
The department would report jointly to the mayor and the city council.
“It’s a structural change that allows us to invest in a holistic approach to safety,” said Council President Lisa Bender, “from all disciplines, from all different kinds of experience.”
Mostly, it’s an attempt to defund police and move that money into the pockets of professional race experts in the local community.
The protests in Minneapolis over George Floyd’s death sparked riots, looting and other violence.
“At least 19 people have been shot in Minneapolis since widespread unrest began over the death of George Floyd in police custody, raising concerns with police officials and residents about the crime-heavy summer months ahead,” reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
In Seattle, the approach has been a little different, but actually much closer than Minneapolis to the fabled “world-without-police” goal of progressives.
Instead of asking the voters to dismantle the police, Seattle’s mayor simply told the police to stop policing.
Almost a month ago, Seattle police abandoned a precinct in downtown Capitol Hill to protesters who established a Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), which billed itself as a police-free zone.
After weeks of increasing violence in the CHAZ, including a murder, several shootings and what police say have been uninvestigated rapes and assaults, the mayor, Jenny Durkan gingerly asked the protestors for better access to the CHAZ “for neighborhood residents.”
When city workers, unescorted by police, showed up to dismantle the barricades surrounding CHAZ, the crews eventually “halted work when demonstrators resisted, including by lying on top of some of the makeshift structures.”
Although many of the Seattle protesters have gone home, the ones who remain say they want police funding reduced by 50 percent and the savings given to Black communities, which will likely be local race experts, including some of the protesters.
The contrast in approaches between Minneapolis and Seattle shouldn’t obscure the fact that the politicians behind the protesters, including the Minneapolis city council and Seattle’s mayor, are deadly serious about a world without police—and deadly serious about giving the money to their friends and allies.
They already have the dead to prove it.
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