Minneapolis City Council president: ‘Dismantle’ police department

By Art Moore

Agreeing to a major objective of the Black Lives Matter movement, the president of the Minneapolis City Council has vowed to “dismantle” the city’s police department and “replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”

Lisa Bender, a Democrat, hasn’t elaborated on her Twitter statement, which was an affirmation of a tweet Thursday by Jeremiah Ellison, a Minneapolis city councilman and son of state Attorney General Keith Ellison.

The younger Ellison, who declared his support this week for the violent militant group Antifa, called for a radical new approach to public safety, FoxNews.com reported.

“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” Jeremiah Ellison wrote.

“And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”

On Sunday, after five nights of protests in reponse to the death of a Minneapolis black man in police custody that have been marred by rioting and looting, Ellison responded to a Twitter user asking if any elected officials were brave enough to take on the police.

“I hereby declare, officially, my support for ANTIFA,” he tweeted May 31. “Unless someone can prove to me ANTIFA is behind the burning of black and immigrant-owned businesses in my ward, I’ll keep focusing on stopping the white power terrorist THE ARE ACTUALLY ATTACKING US!”

On Thursday, however, Attorney General William Barr said the the federal government has evidence members of Antifa and other extremist groups have “hijacked” legitimate protests to incite violence along with “foreign actors.”

On Wednesday, state AG Keith Ellison upgraded the charges against the officer seen pinning his knee on the neck of 46-year-old George Floyd to second-degree murder. The other three officers each were charged with two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Democrats embracing idea

The Washington Times observed Thursday that establishment Democrats are shifting rapidly to the left on law-and-order issues amid the protests.

Government officials long have dismissed the idea of defunding police as a leftist fantasy, noted the Guardian newspaper of London. But the recent unrest and budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus lockdowns have pushed the arguments supporting the idea toward the mainstream, the paper said.

PJ Media pointed out defunding police discussions are underway in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle and Portland.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti already has agreed to cut $150 million from the LAPD’s $3 billion budget, but activists want him to slash it by 90%.

In New York City, Reuters reported, Comptroller Scott Stringer has proposed cutting $1.1 billion from the NYPD budget over four years by reducing the number of police officers and cutting overtime. He wants to shift the money to “social workers, counselors, community-based violence interrupters, and other trained professionals.”

President Trump said in a tweet this week: “The Radical Left Democrats new theme is ‘Defund the Police.’ Remember that when you don’t want Crime, especially against you and your family. This is where Sleepy Joe is being dragged by the socialists. I am the complete opposite, more money for Law Enforcement!”

At a campaign event in Los Angeles, Biden was asked about Mayor Garcetti’s plan to cut the police budget.

“I think it makes sense,” he said, but added that the response should vary from community to community.

“It’s all about treating people with dignity.”

The national press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Brian Fallon, tweeted Thursday, “Defund the police.”

Fallon is currently the executive director of the non-profit Demand Justice.

‘Reducing … resources that harm’

Defending the push for defunding police, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors contended in an interview Wednesday that only “radical shifts” can stop law enforcement violence.

“The demand of defunding law enforcement becomes a central demand in how we actually get real accountability and justice, because it means we are reducing the ability of law enforcement to have resources that harm our communities,” she told Boston NPR station WBUR.

Cullors said she doesn’t take seriously the “disingenuous” act of police officers taking a knee.

“[Police officers] taking a knee is not stopping the deaths of our community members,” she said. “We need transformation. These things don’t happen through police taking a knee at protests and then right after they take a knee, getting up and tear-gassing us and rubber bulleting us and beating us with batons.”

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