Tag Archives: Defund Police

Pandemic Of Violence, Gunfire Rage as Officers Abandon Minneapolis Police Department

Violence and gunfire are raging in Minneapolis as officers leave the department at such a rate that residents are warned that 911 responses may soon cease.

Nearly six months after George Floyd’s death here sparked massive protests and left a wide swath of the city burned and destroyed, Minneapolis is grappling with dueling crises: an unprecedented wave of violence and droves of officer departures that the Minneapolis Police Department warns could soon leave the force unable to respond to emergencies.

The report notes that North Minneapolis is marked by gunfire, as “bullets zip through this predominantly Black neighborhood, hitting cars and homes and people.”

Minneapolis homicides have surged 50 percent this year, with almost 75 people killed.

Community activist Cathy Spann observed, “If you want to talk about pandemics, we’re dealing with a pandemic of violence. We’re under siege. You wake up and go to bed in fear, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. … And our city has failed to protect us.”

On June 12, 2020, Breitbart News reported that the Minneapolis City Council responded to the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd by unanimously vowing to disband the police department. Months after making that pledge, the same council that approved abolishing the police stood in the rubble and asked where the police had gone.

On September 16, 2020, Breitbart News noted a Minnesota Public Radio report that quoted City Council President Lisa Bender suggesting police were intentionally not arresting people. She claimed, “This is not new, but it is very concerning in the current context.”

Ironically, Bender supported the June 2020 pledge to disband the police department, promising to “dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”

But don’t worry, they’re still showing up fast on reports of white people defending themselves at home with firearms because that’s easy felony arrest and conviction pickings.  

Source: by AWR Hawkins | Breitbart

Portland City Council Defunds Police By $15 Million

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland City Council has passed the 2020-21 budget 3-1, after failing to pass it last week. Included in the budget are plans to cut at least $15 million from the police bureau, eliminating 84 positions.

The council needed all four commissioners to vote yes to pass the budget last Thursday but Chloe Eudaly voted no, saying the cuts don’t go deep enough. Activists were demanding a $50 million cut to the police bureau.

 

On Wednesday, Eudaly voted no again, and said her primary concern a week earlier had been that Portland was not reducing the overall number of police officers. She had proposed cutting many more positions within the police bureau.

But she acknowledged that this time around a unanimous vote was not necessary and the budget would pass with or without a yes from her. She also said in spite of her no vote, this is a historic moment for Portland.

“Please take a moment to celebrate this victory, and let it fuel your fire, because we’re not done,” she said.

Before the high-profile killing of George Floyd in police custody, and the widespread unrest that followed, the bureau was scheduled to get a $3 million increase in funds.

As the city council session was underway Wednesday, protesters from the group Care Not Cops held a demonstration outside of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence.

“While I sit here as a middle-aged white guy who is fortunate in so many ways, I do believe that I have an important role to play in this transitional period,” Wheeler said. “As i speak there are hundreds of you out in front of my apartment building…I hear you and I see you…And I’m going to be with you all the way.”

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, a longtime activist, has tried for decades to change the Portland Police Bureau from the outside. In 2019 she became the first black woman to serve on Portland’s city council and immediately started working on police reform.

Last year she attempted to defund the Gun Violence Reduction Team, because she believes it is racist, but her proposal was overwhelmingly voted down. This year, that’s part of the budget.

Hardesty had been disappointed in Eudaly’s no vote last Thursday.

“While my colleague can take a principled ‘no’ stance on passing this budget, I as a black woman cannot. I have spent countless hours moving my colleagues to support what I’ve proposed,” Hardesty said. “Last year I proposed only half of what was brought to the table this year, and did not receive one single vote in support, including hers.”

Hardesty said on Wednesday that the $50 million cut mentioned last week was not based on any rational analysis, and if it had been, she’d have investigated and considered it.

She added that, amid two major crises, the budget that city council passed was the third iteration of the 2020-21 Portland budget. And she said the overwhelming response from the citizens has warmed her heart and her soul.

“What I know is that there are a lot of people taking to the street every night who have not before this month actually understood all the work that community and government has done to led us to this point,” Hardesty said. 

In addition to dissolving the GVRT, Hardesty’s amendments included cutting eight new positions from the city’s Special Emergency Response Team, cutting funding for school resource officers and transit police, and giving nearly $5 million to Portland Street Response, which would deal with homeless people before police get involved.

RELATED: Portland poised to shift millions from police bureau to Street Response team

Her budget amendments also took away $2 million in cannabis tax money that the police bureau receives.

“If ever there was a time for white people to be quiet and listen…this is that time,” Commissioner Amanda Fritz said. “The city budget is a moral document. It’s also a document that comes from everybody in the city…wondering how they can do their jobs better and wanting to be public servants who serve our communities—all of our communities—the best we possibly can.”

Source: by Pat Dooris | KGW8