The Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted early Thursday, December 10, to move funds from the $179 million policing budget towards violence prevention and other programs including mental health, but they will not decrease the police force staff.
“Defund the police” chants filled the majority of 2020, and now the people of Minneapolis will finally get what they asked for.
After the widely-known and discussed death of George Floyd on May 25th, Minneapolis citizens and people across the world took to the streets to protest police brutality and misconduct in light of Floyd, Breonna Taylor’s, and many other deaths at the hands of the police.
Floyd died after being handcuffed and pleading for air for several minutes while Derek Chauvin, a white now-former Minneapolis cop, continuously pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin and three other officers at the scene were charged in Floyd’s death and are expected to stand trial in March.
Protestors in Minneapolis - Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Nation and worldwide protests were called for defunding the police, on top of minimizing the number of active officers. The City Council’s approval came as a compromise. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey threatened to veto their proposal if the council continued with its plan to cap police staffing.
“Tonight the City Council passed a budget that represents a compromise, and also a big step forward into a more compassionate and effective public safety future,” said City Council member Steve Fletcher, co-author of the proposal to minimize police staffing.
Seeing justice being served is rare in police brutality cases. In turn, families of the victims and advocates against racism and police misconduct dedicate their lives to fighting against this injustice. Although $8 million from $179 million isn’t an incredible change, hopefully the people of Minneapolis will find promise in this outcome.