‘Defund the police’ in Minneapolis backfires spectacularly, but leftist activists are undeterred

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Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional police funding, backtracking on its original push to defund its police force after protests over the death of George Floyd. The push came as residents complained over longer response times and increase in crime. However, group funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation still pushes for complete elimination of the Minneapolis Police Department.

In the immediate wake of the death of George Floyd, a veto-proof majority of the city council vowed to disband the Minneapolis PD. The police force would be replaced with a “public safety department”, staffed with psychologists, ‘social justice’ majors and “licensed peace officers if necessary”.

“Our efforts at incremental reform have failed. Period,” Lisa Bender, the city council president, said in early June. Writing a Time piece headlined, “I’m a Minneapolis City Council Member. We Must Disband the Police — Here’s What Could Come Next”

Steve Fletcher argued it was time to “declare policing as we know it a thing of the past.” Fellow council member Jeremiah Ellison tweeted: “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. 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.” 

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However, the council did not follow through. The city council did propose the measure of scrapping the police force on the November ballot. But before the vote, the Minneapolis Charter Commission blocked the proposal from appearing on the ballot.

Instead, the city council has voted to cut 4.5 percent from the police budget in 2021. Even that relatively conservative move resulted in a 25% spike in violent crime in the city.

The department says it only has 638 officers available to work — roughly 200 fewer than usual. An unprecedented number of officers quit or went on extended medical leave after Floyd’s death and the unrest that followed.

However, the move did not deter activists and more radical council members. Yes 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of local community groups, is also collecting signatures to try to get a proposal to defund the police on the November ballot.

The Star Tribune reported the Yes 4 Minneapolis committee is being fuelled by a half-million dollar grant from the Washington, D.C.-based group Open Society Policy Center, linked to billionaire George Soros.

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The”well-funded police reform advocates” began collecting petition signatures for a proposal to replace the police department with a new entity that would take a “comprehensive public health approach to safety.”

Minneapolis has dodged a bullet, for now. But the fight is far from over. Law-abiding citizens, property owners, small businesses and all those who are invested in Minneapolis with at least some semblance of law and order will have to go against the leftist radicals with billionaire funding. Their city depends on it.

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