Minneapolis City Council approves plan to evaluate policing in city

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Friday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to begin a year-long process to create "a transformative new model for cultivating safety in our city." 

The move comes after nine of the 12 council members called for the defunding of the Minneapolis Police Department over the weekend in response to the death of George Floyd. 

Majority of Minneapolis City Council announces support for dismantling police department

"Our city feels divided and broken; it's important for us to rise to the occasion to be clear about the moral moment we have here before us, lead with our hearts and allow our brains to follow,” said council member Alondra Cano.

In its resolution, the council said it plans to engage the residents of Minneapolis, while "centering the voices of Black people, American Indian people, people of color, immigrants, victims of harm and other stakeholders who have been historically marginalized or under-served by our present system." 

"Leadership and unity in this moment is something that the public deserves, and is something I think is healing in many ways," Linea Palmisano, member of the Minneapolis City Council, said. 

Minneapolis Second Ward City Council member Cam Gordon added, "It's a big moment… but as we stand on this big moment… I'm full of apprehension, fear, worry, concern, what does it mean where are we actually going, I'm going to take a moment to celebrate this."

The resolution also created the Future of Community Safety Work Group, which is expected to have its first report out by late July.

"American democracy is an experiment, each generation has an opportunity to move this experiment forward, toward living out the true meaning of its creed," City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said in a statement. "This resolution represents our moment to contribute to the progression of equality and freedom of every resident of the City of Minneapolis." 

Possible fate of MPD in voters' hands?

Five Minneapolis City Council members announced during the Friday meeting that they may move to push for a public vote to amend the city charter when it comes to policing in November, but no official proposal was entered.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey added his thoughts on the possible charter resolution Friday. 

“I remain opposed to abolishing the [Minneapolis] Police Department. We should unite behind deep structural reform and transformative public safety changes in partnership with community and under Chief [of Police Medaria] Arradondo’s leadership. Minneapolis residents deserve clarity in purpose and deliberate planning as we move forward,” he said.

Between now and the end of summer, there will be much deliberation between the city council and charter commissioner. The full city council will have to vote, and for the resolution to appear on the November voting ballot, it will have to be finished by late summer.

This is a breaking news story. KSTP is working to get more details on this story and will post updates as more information becomes available.

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