Minneapolis City Council cuts millions from police budget amid record crime rates

The Minneapolis City Council, which tried and failed to dismantle the police department in the wake of George Floyd’s death, voted early Thursday to shift nearly $8 million from next year’s police budget to other city services as part of an effort to “transform” public safety in the city.

The controversial plan was approved unanimously as part of the city’s 2021 budget.

Mayor Jacob Frey had earlier threatened a veto to the budget, calling the police cuts “irresponsible” as the city confronts an unprecedented wave of violence and scores of police officer departures since Floyd’s death that have left the department struggling to respond to emergencies.

But in a statement early Thursday, Frey praised the council for removing language that would have permanently shrunk the size of the force by about 130 officers in what he described as a “defining moment for our city.”