A pair of Minneapolis City Council members are claiming “defund the police” was never part of their planned “framework,” just days after a vote to slash nearly $8 million from the department’s budget while homicide rates have soared in the city.
In an interview with KSTP Eyewitness News, Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham both concurred that the plan was never about defunding the police and implied the department was simply a casualty of unavoidable budgeting issues.
“‘Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,” Fletcher claimed.
Cunningham, according to the network, “audibly agreed.”
Fletcher continued, “If we’re going to look at how we fund different programs, it would be very hard to do that without taking that money from the Minneapolis Police Department.”
Last week, the Minneapolis City Council voted to “redirect” $7.77 million from the police department and toward other programs.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frye (D) said he would veto the proposed budget if any police officer positions were cut.
Minneapolis city council members backpedal and claim ‘Defund the Police’ has ‘never been a chosen framework’ https://t.co/Yj4L2Inf6L
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 17, 2020
Minneapolis City Council Defunds the Police
It is rather difficult to take Fletcher and Cunningham seriously when they suggest the plan was never about defunding the police, especially when the Council is notably on record as supporting such efforts.
Over the summer, the council took numerous steps to dismantle the department, including an amendment to remove $1 million from their budget and reallocate it toward hiring “violence interrupters.”
They announced their intentions in June, according to the Guardian, when “a veto-proof majority of council members declared their intent to ‘dismantle’ and ‘abolish’ the embattled police agency.”
As for Fletcher and Cunningham, the Daily Mail reports that they “appeared with seven colleagues on a stage bearing a huge sign reading ‘Defund Police’ during a protest in Powderhorn Park.”
Pressure to ‘defund police’ turns protest chants into action…Lawlessness Comes To New York City & Minneapolis https://t.co/IDliT111pR
— David, Ph.D. (@americanshomer) June 8, 2020
While these two council members play semantics on their phrasing of reallocating funds as opposed to defunding, the city suffers.
Compared to last year, according to Minneapolis Police Department data, murders are up 90 percent so far in the city.
Just two months after voting to defund the police, other Minneapolis City Council members were dismayed over a surge in violent crimes – which Fox News reports include daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults, and shootings.
Ahem… the Minneapolis city council members who pushed to defund the police are wondering where they are during the city’s time of need. Typical Democrats. pic.twitter.com/kTkIU1EJMD
— robjh1: The Conservative Black Cowboy (@robjh1) September 17, 2020
The Framework For Georgia Senate Candidates
The Minneapolis City Council’s efforts to defund the police should serve as a cautionary tale for voters heading to the polls in January for the Georgia Senate runoffs.
Both Democrat candidates – Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have expressed disdain for the police and would likely help a Democrat-controlled Senate push President-elect Joe Biden to defund them.
Ossoff has already called for placing funding for certain police departments “on the line.”
“You have to have national standards for the use of force, and yeah, you’ve got to be able to hold individual officers and entire departments accountable, and there also has to be funding for those departments on the line,” he said during an interview in June.
Quite a trio for Georgia:
✅ Biden: ‘We can talk about defunding the police after January 5th’
✅ Ossoff: “Funding for police departments should be on the line”
✅ Warnock: Police are “gangsters and thugs” https://t.co/Quh7Y5rAHy
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) December 15, 2020
Warnock, meanwhile, has referred to police officers as gangsters, thugs, and bullies.
FLASHBACK: Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock called police officers “gangsters and thugs” and “bullies.”pic.twitter.com/VYkvkd4rSb
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 7, 2020
For his part, Biden has made it clear to his fellow Democrats that defunding the police is a political loser.
It’s not that he doesn’t necessarily support the idea, it’s just that he thinks candidates need to hide their anti-law enforcement views from the American people until after the Georgia runoffs.
“I also don’t think we should get too far ahead of ourselves on dealing with police reform in that, because they’ve already labeled us as being ‘defund the police’ anything we put forward in terms of the organizational structure to change policing — which I promise you, will occur,” Biden said in leaked audio with several prominent civil rights leaders.
Leaked audio of Biden bragging again. Shows his true colors as a neoliberal ghoul that he is. Looking forward to another crappy 4 years of chaos. pic.twitter.com/BDAIafGXlv
— Danny (@DanylYoung) December 10, 2020
Biden told the civil rights leaders “to think about how much do we push between now and January 5th,” the date of the Georgia runoffs, regarding police reform, but still promised a “full-blown commission” to examine the matter.
Read more at the Political Insider