Voters Reject “Defund the Police” in Minneapolis
Voters in Minneapolis rejected a ballot measure that would have replaced the police department in the city charter with a new department of public safety in the first municipal elections since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.
The new department was supposed to take a public health approach to public safety, shifting resources to social workers, violence interruption programs and others to respond to the city’s recent spate of violence in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder by former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.
The proposal emerged from a pledge by nine city council members in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department. The city has taken some money from the police department as it created an Office of Violence Prevention, but activists say the moves haven’t gone far enough.
In the 16 months since Mr. Floyd’s death, violent crime has increased and the ranks of the police department have dwindled as officers retired, left or took leave for PTSD and other issues.