As has been known for a while, Minneapolis residents have been raising some complaints with their City Council of late. One community leader named Liz Cruz has been beating the drum for a couple of months now. Unlike residents of other cities who might be complaining about potholes in the streets higher taxes, however, Liz and her neighbors are talking about gunfire, robberies, and carjackings. Up until now, City Council President Lisa Bender has been mostly silent, dodging the media and town halls organized by constituents. That finally changed this week when Ms. Bender released a statement to the local press. She spoke about an “epidemic of violence” in the community that’s primarily “affecting young Black men.” But as to the idea that her efforts to defund the police could be a factor? She’s not having it. (CBS Minnesota)
Some say talk of defunding or dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department led to some of this recent violence. Bender disagrees.
“I stand by the commitment that I made…in Powderhorn Park after George Floyd was murdered by the police. We need a wholly-new approach to community safety in Minneapolis. We need to prevent crime before it happens, and our current system is not working to keep people safe,” Bender said…
“I think we need to restructure within our city how we’re approaching public safety,” Bender said. “Our experience hasn’t shown that police alone will interrupt these cycles of crime and violence, and that we need a more strategic and effective solution.”
This is really incredible. As we’ve discussed here previously, Bender and her liberal colleagues on the City Council floated a plan earlier this year to eliminate the city police force and replace it with a “department for community safety and violence prevention.” That plan was finally shot down by the City Charter Commission. But this week Bender doubled down and said she hoped to try again next year.