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Minneapolis’s Promise To Abolish The Police Stalls, Council Members Reconsidering Their Pledge

A Protester hold a sign reading
A Protester hold a sign reading "Defund the Police" outside Hennepin County Government Plaza during a demonstration against police brutality and racism in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

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In the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the beginning of the summer that led to nationwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality, Minneapolis made a pledge to defund the Minneapolis Police Department. Three months later, talks towards that goal have stalled and have many wondering what happens now?

The move by the Minneapolis City Council to entirely replace the police department with a new public safety infrastructure was a bold move met with praise by activists and concern by critics. But in August, the Minneapolis Charter Commission blocked the Council’s policing proposal from appearing on November’s ballot, citing the change to the city’s charter to be too rushed and need for review. According to the New York Times, councilmembers are now taking a step back from that pledge amid decreasing support for the initiative. So how did a movement for drastic police reform at the beginning of the summer lose momentum? Will the energy and fervor for such change continue into the fall and beyond?

Today on AirTalk, we take a closer look at Minneapolis’s move to try and abolish the police, what the city council’s next moves are, and how public sentiment for drastic police reform has evolved.


Miguel Otarola, reporter covering Minneapolis for the Star-Tribune in Minnesota; he tweets at @motarola123

Dave Bicking, Board member and secretary of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a volunteer organization advocating for police reform based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota