In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, the rallying cry at the protests happening across the country that often turned violent was “Defund the police!” Defunding the police has long been a goal of the radical leftist extremists in the official Black Lives Matter movement, along with the group’s more prominent supporters like admitted socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her fellow “Squad” members in Congress.
In Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died after former officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, the Democrat-controlled city council rushed to vote to begin the process of dismantling the police in spite of the fact that parts of the city including a police precinct burned to the ground as rioters and other assorted left-wing mobs literally terrorized a local community and lit it on fire while police stood by helpless to stop them.
But though Black Lives Matter, AOC, and other high-profile Democrats have made it clear that no less than 100% defunding and abolishment of the police will do in their cities, there are Black leaders in Minneapolis who are putting the brakes on the whole idea for reasons up until this point were typically only mentioned by critics of the movement to defund police (bolded emphasis added):
“They have shown a complete disregard for the voices and perspectives of many members of the African American community,” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “We have not been consulted as the city makes its decisions, even though our community is the one most heavily impacted by both police violence and community violence.”
Others noted that it doesn’t make sense to defund the police, considering how leaders in the Black community trusted and could work closely with Medaria Arradondo, who is the city’s first Black police chief:
“Why now, when you have an African American chief who is highly regarded and trusted in the Black community?” said Steven Belton, president and CEO of the Urban League Twin Cities. “This strikes me as being passive-aggressive Minnesota Nice on steroids. This is a hit on Chief Arradondo.”
Pastor Brian Herron said the council is “pandering.”
“We have a department that is troubled, but it is also a department that with the leadership of our chief could be really transformed, and the culture of policing could change dramatically if he was given the proper support,” said Herron, who ministers at Zion Baptist Church in north Minneapolis.
“The tension of living in many of these African American communities is that we are overpoliced, we are subjected to excessive police use of force, but at the same time we are also disproportionately victims of crime and witnesses of crime,” said Belton. “And you cannot talk defunding the police if there is not a concomitant strategy of community safety in place as well.”
Reading between the lines here, what they’re saying the city needs is police reform, not police defunding. It sounds as though cooler heads are prevailing in Minneapolis, though no thanks to the hypocrites on the city council who voted for defunding in the first place.
Keep in mind, too, the downward spiral in some Minneapolis neighborhoods may have also factored in to the decisions made by local Black leaders to go public with their complaints about the process:
– One liberal neighborhood in Minneapolis that vowed not to call the police has seen a lot more problems in their community since, including the emergence of a large homeless encampment at a local park, drug and prostitution activity, property damage, and car theft.
– The city had a mass shooting last month which left one man dead and 11 others injured.
– Gun violence is on the rise.
I wonder if we’ll see similar situations like this start to play out in other major cities in America going forward where younger voices in the Black Lives Matter movement try to force the defund issue with city officials while more mature and knowledgeable generations of Black leaders hit the brakes by noting such moves will endanger vulnerable communities?