It all started in Minneapolis. Following the murder of George Floyd last summer, we witnessed a community movement against state-sanctioned violence — a movement to better protect Black lives.
We marched. We organized. We listened. And, most importantly, we learned that Minneapolis residents agree that our current police-only approach to public safety is broken.
These are the opening statements on the homepage for Yes 4 Minneapolis activist group who has led the charge to get an incredibly dangerous ballot measure included in upcoming November elections in Minneapolis.
The measure, which we have previously covered, would dismantle the city’s police department and replace it with a “Department of Public Safety.” This enterprise would be mostly comprised of social workers and other non-law enforcement personnel but would still include police.
The new department would answer to the City Council.
Activists, like those behind Yes 4, hail the measure as a new beginning in American law enforcement.
But others, including three Minneapolis residents who have just filed a lawsuit over the measure, see the proposal for the threat that it is.
The three residents, Don Samuels, Sondra Samuels and Bruce Dachis, asserted the following in their lawsuits:
(The city) approved an incomplete and misleading ballot question regarding an amendment to the City Charter that would eliminate the Minneapolis Police Department without any plan for replacing that department’s critical public safety functions.
And in the first week of September, the Minneapolis Chief of Police, Medaria Arradondo, finally broke his silence on the disastrous proposal as well:
If the current city charter amendment to the reporting structure passes and results in bringing 14 different people into Minneapolis’ daily reporting structure, it would not just be confusing — it would be a wholly unbearable position for any law enforcement leader or police chief.
In fact, even the Governor of Minnesota, Democrat Tim Walz, has come out in opposition the bill:
It’s been distilled down to this: defund police or fund police? I know it’s more complex than that, but I think that poses problems. So, I don’t think I would have this ballot question on there. I think there’s other ways to do it.
Why are so many, including Democrat politicians, speaking out against this bill?
The only explanation is that crime has skyrocketed in the city since it first voted to defund its police department.
About a year after the City Council voted to defund the city’s police department, violent crime, particularly gun violence, soared by 55% year over year from last June.
Essentially, a “yes” vote on this ballot measure will give the same city council which defunded the police last year, the complete authority to dictate law enforcement in Minneapolis from now on.
So why would the results be any less dangerous than the results of their “defund” movement?
They won’t, probably.
Passing this measure would mean law enforcement who must respond to aggressive, violent, and sometimes deadly situations will be stretched even thinner, leaving themselves and the people of Minneapolis at even more risk than they are now.
Not only will the environment in Minneapolis become more dangerous physically, but the political environment surrounding the success of this measure would only turn up the heat on doing the same thing elsewhere.
Just as the George Floyd situation was leveraged to motivate other liberal cities to follow Minneapolis’s lead in defunding their police departments, the “success” of this measure would prove that this must be what people everywhere, including your city, want. Next will be “Yes 4 NY” or “Yes 4 LA.”
Minneapolis will simply serve as a domino.
People who support our nation’s law enforcement must get involved at local levels, whether through involvement with an organization like ours, donations, or pressuring their local lawmakers to resist any efforts to continue degrading our nation’s police.
Unless the above-mentioned lawsuit stops this measure in its tracks, it is too late to stop Yes 4 Minneapolis to receive a vote.
Now the only option is spreading awareness on the failures of the anti-police agenda up to this point so that voters are informed when they go to make their decisions.
Image Credit: Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash
As politicians and activists continue the pressure campaign to villainize law enforcement, no matter the consequences suffered by the citizens, these states are stepping up to stem the tide of the “Defund” movement.