Minneapolis City Council members get private security after calls to defund police
Minneapolis has spent more than $60,000 on private security for city council members who have received death threats after their support of defunding the police department.
At least three members of the city council have been assigned security details reportedly costing taxpayers $4,500 each day. The members include Andrea Jenkins, Phillips Cunningham and Alondra Cano.
The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the city’s police department on Friday. The mostly white police department has struggled to keep the city’s trust after the death of George Floyd.
The new proposal calls for eliminating the existing police force and instead creates “a department of community safety and violence prevention, which will have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach.”
“Washington Times reports three members of the Minneapolis city council voted to abolish police but are protected by taxpayer-funded private security at a cost of $4500/day total so far $63,000. Elected hypocrisy strikes again,” tweeted former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
The council members have been relatively quiet when questioned about their new security details.
“I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have protecting me from those threats,” Cunningham told a local Fox affiliate.
Councilwoman Jenkins said the city has a large number of white nationalists and she’s been concerned for her safety since she was elected.
“My concern is the large number of white nationalists in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” Jenkins said.
The Minneapolis Police Department would traditionally provide security in situations like this but does not have any records of recent threats against the three council members.
One of the council members said they did not alert the threats to the MPD because they were consumed with dealing with the global pandemic and global uprising after Floyd’s death. They also noted that the threats had been wide-ranging, attacking their ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality.
“The Minneapolis City Council is chock-full of two-faced liberal charlatan extremists. The hypocrites leading the effort to defund the police now have taxpayer funded private security details,” said Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R).
Private security has been provided by two firms, Aegis and BelCom, as an interim fix until other security solutions can be established.
“This security service was intended to be temporary and a bridge to other security measures implemented by council members themselves,” said a city spokesperson
The security expenses do not need city council approval unless the amount surpasses $175,000. A spokesperson for the city said that the temporary security costs are not anticipated to come near that threshold.
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