Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender will vote to completely “dismantle” the city’s police department and replace it with a “transformative new model of public safety.”
Joining her is fellow (can we say that?) councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, a self-described “visual artist” and “storyteller,” who promises to “to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.”
We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.
We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.
It’s really past due. https://t.co/7WIxUL6W79
— Jeremiah Ellison (@jeremiah4north) June 4, 2020
What does that mean? Who knows!
Ellison, I should add, is the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, and gained some kind of fame in late 2018 for decrying a “racist” Christmas tree.
Here’s the clip:
But before eliminating the entire police department and replacing it with social workers, baby steps.
“Hello, 911 is no longer available. We have instituted a transformative new model of public safety. Thank you and goodbye.” https://t.co/4nO0wuRvJw
— Adrian Vermeule (@Vermeullarmine) June 5, 2020
In a vote set to be held on Friday, the Minneapolis City Council will consider smaller measures including a “temporary restraining order that will mandate some immediate changes” to the city’s police department.
What a restraining order against the police department would look like or how it would operate aren’t yet clear. But a safe guess, based on what we know so far about Bender’s intentions, is that the police will be restrained from stopping looters from looting.
And that’s a nice way of saying that the Minneapolis City Council would be codifying Mayor Jacob Frey’s limp response to the riots.
Forget the Minneapolis City Council, the Police Union Chief Decries His Officers Becoming ‘Scapegoats’
Bender did say, however, “It’s for immediate accountability measures for the Police Department. It’s not meant to be anywhere near starting this bigger conversation.”
She added, “To do this kind of big work, we need a deeper, broader conversation than we’ve ever had before.”
“We need white people like me and my neighbors to show up in a different way.”
Sending in social workers instead of police would certainly be different, and who knows — in a few, limited cases might even be an improvement. But Bender and Ellison have much more in mind, as you’ll see.
For whatever it’s worth, Bender seems confident that she can push through her radical measures. When asked on Twitter, “Will you be able to work with the Mayor’s office on this? Frey increased the police budget,” Bender replied, “Doesn’t matter anymore. I think we have the help we need no matter what happens there.”
Maybe she has the votes, maybe not. We’ll get a measure of her support as the Minneapolis City Council takes on other, smaller measures.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (linked above) reports that the various proposals range from “defunding the department immediately to taking a slower approach and sending social workers or mental health professionals to some calls that are now handled by police.”
But of course, none of those proposals go nearly far enough for Ellison or Bender, who tweeted this on Wednesday:
If you are a comfortable white person asking to dismantle the police I invite you to reflect: are you willing to stick with it? Will you be calling in three months to ask about garage break-ins? Are you willing to dismantle white supremacy in all systems, including a new system?
— Lisa Bender (@lisabendermpls) June 3, 2020
If I’m reading this properly, the Minneapolis City Council’s potential “transformative new model of public safety” doesn’t include things like preventing or punishing burglars. If Bender and Ellison get their way, looting — or what I’ve been calling “freelance reparations” — against “white persons” would become the new normal for Minneapolis residents.
Mass exodus of business. Exodus of middle class. Note the impact on insurance underwriting. No one will cover the risk of Utopia in Blue zone phantasy land.
— UnfortunateNecessity (@DireNecessity) June 5, 2020
At a time when the people of Minneapolis require the best public safety and a positive growth environment for business and jobs, Bender and her Minneapolis City Council allies would deprive them of both.
Whether any white persons will remain in Minneapolis if Bender gets her way remains to be seen. Other than Bender and other members of the nomenklatura, that is, who always receive the protection they would deny their poorer (and often darker) neighbors.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand exactly what the results would be of a “transformative new model of public safety,” but it does take a modern progressive to find the resulting destruction of jobs and opportunity to be desirable.