► What are the intentions of the city of Minneapolis?
Two weeks after the death of George Floyd, nine of the thirteen members of the Minneapolis City Council made a radical commitment on Sunday, June 7: to dismantle the city police soon. “Decades of effort have proven that the Minneapolis Police (MPD) cannot be reformed and will never be held accountable for their actions, they said in a joint statement. We will initiate the dismantling of the police force and the creation of a new model of security for our city. “
→ ANALYSIS. The impossible reform of the American police
Before the death of George Floyd, the city had already known many dramas of this type – Christopher Burns in 2002, David Smith in 2010, Jamar Clark in 2015, Philando Castile, in 2016… Efforts had been made to train, to educate … But often thwarted internally by the police unions. For the majority of elected city council members, the death of George Floyd, who did not resist his arrest or represent a threat, is the acknowledgment of the failure of this strategy.
► What to replace the police with?
The consequences of this announcement remain very uncertain. First because it seems that a vote of the inhabitants of Minneapolis is necessary to modify the statutes of the city, which provide for the existence of a police force.
On the other hand because, for the moment, the municipal council does not offer any other option. His move is part of a once radical move that has gathered strength as US police continue to kill around 1,000 people a year – a statistic that has been stable for twenty years, according to the Washington Post, which keeps the count of police violence. This movement, whose slogan is « Defund the police » (“No money for the police”), believes that, since the security drift started under the Nixon presidency, the police are seen as the only response to many problems (drugs, mental health, school violence, etc.) , which would be much better supported by social services. Cutting off its food would therefore be the best method to restrict its power.
► What is the point of view of the Democratic Party?
For Democrats, the issue of public safety is a delicate subject. They regularly face accusations of laxity. Donald Trump and his allies did not hesitate to widely publicize the decision of the municipal council of Minneapolis, a democratic city. Joe Biden was therefore quick to make it known that he was opposed to the dismantling of the MPD. On the other hand, he judges “Urgent” an ambitious reform. He supports in particular the bill tabled Monday, June 8 by the Democrats in the House of Representatives for “Put an end to police brutality, hold the police to account, improve transparency and create profound and structural changes”.
→ ANALYSIS. Against Donald Trump, Joe Biden offers unity and empathy
This text provides in particular for the creation of a national register for police officers committing burrows, and intends to facilitate legal proceedings against agents. Some dangerous techniques of “Choke holds” would be prohibited. This project should however be blocked by the Republicans, the majority in the Senate.