The Minneapolis city council has committed to dismantling the police department!

“Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions,” they said. “We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.”

While some council members have provided hints of what the changes might mean — sending mental health professionals or social workers to respond to certain emergencies, for example — the group did not present a single, unified vision for how they would replace policing in Minneapolis.

Organizers with Black Visions said they too don’t have all the answers about what would replace the police department, but they said police can’t be reformed through initiatives like training and body cameras. This is the beginning of the process of putting together a “police-free future,” they vowed, by investing in more community initiatives like mental health and having community members respond to public safety issues.

I’m not sure what that’ll look like, but any organization that you can call for help that does not immediately dispatch armored thugs with guns will be preferable.

Also, the state of Minnesota has filed charges against the MPD for civil rights violations. They haven’t got a friend in the world, other than a few deranged Republicans.


  1. mastmaker says

    It is time to begin a period of enlightenment.

    Let a new bloom grow out of the ashes of Dumpster Fire™.

  2. says

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that last night. I never thought I’d live to see the day. I really hope they can do it because if they can, then every city in the country can. It’s time for real reform. There’s been a massive lack of oversight for way too long. Police departments around the country have operated with impunity for decades. If taking the entire institution to pieces and rebuilding it from the ground up is what it takes, then that’s just what it takes.

  3. kingoftown says

    This has happened before, in Northern Ireland. The RUC was replaced by the PSNI because it was corrupt, disciminated heavilly against irish nationalists and colluded with unionist gangs. Some effort was made to improve it by using affirmative action to recruit catholics but really it was mostly just a rebranding exercise and the old leadership remained in place.

    Hopefully this is more than just a rebranding exercise and there is a proper overhaul.

  4. Oggie: Mathom says

    They haven’t got a friend in the world, other than a few deranged Republicans.

    Which is, unfortunately, about 80 – 90% of GOP voters. And 97% of the GOP US Senators.

    I think that there is a place for a policing organization that is on the public payroll. That said, the idea of a police force, of a paramilitary occupation force, of an army in a hostile battle zone, has to go.

    I have quite a few friends who are federal law enforcement officers. Each of them carry professional liability insurance. Each of them were taught that, in the event of a lawsuit, any deviation from training — trying to de-escalate a situation rather than using force, for example, could place themselves or other officers in danger, therefore always respond with maximum force — could result in the insurance company refusing to cover court costs or judgments. Luckily, the men and women I know are in the NPS, USFS, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and deal mostly with EMS situations while things such as poaching, tree theft, traffic, ARPA violations, vandalism, etc., are a small part of their professional equation. Some of them, though, do refer to civilians and think of the public as some sort of ‘other,’ failing to realize that they are, also, civilians. Not military. And every one of them, even the officers of colour, tend to approach a vehicle operated by, say, a black man with his family differently than a white man with his family.

    Damn. I appear to be rambling. Blame pain medications (bad night). I guess I really don’t know what the answer is save for a complete and total rebuild of how the police view themselves — civilian working to help a neighborhood be safer, or an occupying army in a hostile place.

  5. raven says

    Video shows law enforcement officers slashing tires at …slate.com › news-and-politics › 2020/06 › video-officer…

    22 hours ago – A screenshot of a video showing law enforcement officers slashing a car’s tires on May 31, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Global News/ …

    There are numerous reports that the Minneapolis police have spent their time during the protests, slashing tires on the cars of reporters and protesters.
    The protests that they themselves started.
    Some cars had all four tires slashed.

    Apparently they didn’t even bother to hide it.
    After all, what is anyone going to do about it?
    Arrest them?
    Sure, an unarmed civilian is going to arrest a heavily armed cop wearing body armor and completely unaccountable for their actions.

    This is so beyond understandable that I can’t really think of anything else to say about it.
    Remind me not to park my car in Minneapolis.
    Remind me not to visit Minneapolis for that matter.

  6. says

    @4 One idea I had recently is to implement a sort of civilian review board modeled on the school boards. Elected officials from the policed community to monitor police behavior. Right now there’s no feedback from the community to the police. That disconnection allowed tension and anger to build and build like a pressure cooker with a broken safety valve. Two weeks ago, boom.

    If the police departments refuse to listen to the people who are policed, it’s time to find some new police. Sometimes something is so broken it must be completely disassembled and rebuilt.

  7. raven says

    I’m not too sure just what dismantling the police departmart means here.
    The people calling for dismantling the police department haven’t given any details either.
    Without providing a coherent and understandable plan for moving ahead, this all comes across as empty rhetoric.
    They are going to have to sell this to the majority of the voters and citizens of Minneapolis or it won’t happen.
    The police do occasionally provide a necessary service in our society when they aren’t murdering citizens or slashing tires.

    I’m guessing the plan will be to dismantle the current Minneapolis police department and replace it with something else that provides the necessary services without the unnnecessary violence and vandalism.
    If one puts it that way, they should start next week.
    It looks like the Minneapolis police department is unreformable and needs to be zeroed out and they need to start over.

  8. says

    One thing that needs to be considered is how to deal with actually violent criminals. Somebody will have to do that. Somebody will have to have some degree of weapons and training. How do you avoid them turning into another group of heavily armed psychos?

  9. mastmaker says

    LykeX @9
    You can reduce 90% of the firearms of the police if you ban guns (except for geographically limited hunting use of rifles, not pistols, not shotguns and not automatic guns). Police departments support indiscriminate use of second amendment precisely because it justifies their arming themselves more and more. Guns at large in a ‘civil’ society is more of a danger than a help.

  10. mastmaker says

    You need a police system that is trained to ‘protect and serve’ rather than (as per Dumpster Fire) to ‘dominate’!

  11. says

    Large scale expansion of gun control in the US is very unlikely to happen. In fact talk of reducing police funding/disbanding departments will probably be used by the gun crowd to push their agenda.

  12. says

    @mastmaker I should also have added that shotguns are common hunting weapons, especially for those who hunt geese and ducks.

  13. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    funny how crime rates usually go down when the police go on strike. hmmm
    when does the anarchy begin now the police force is being downsized? [fingers tapping] smirk

  14. mastmaker says

    timguenguen @13

    I know. But I think spraying hundreds of tiny shot in the general direction of prey is a bad method of hunting and should be discouraged. A shotgun is a bad weapon overall.

  15. jrkrideau says

    @ 15 mastmaker
    Re shotguns
    No shotguns, no bird hunting.

    Well, unless you are sneaking up on Canada geese in the city park and there a golf club or, for the daring, one’s bare hands are more than adequate.

    Just in terms of range a shotgun can be safer if one is trying to get rid of “varmints” around the farm.

  16. mnb0 says

    In the meantime in The Netherlands:


    “This bill adds a framework for the use of force by investigative officers to the Criminal Code. Investigating officers include, for example, the police and the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. This means that the investigating officer is no longer automatically suspected of a criminal offense after the use of force while performing the job. The government wants good and thorough research to be conducted into the causes of the use of force and whether it has acted in accordance with the rules. This takes more account of the special position of a police officer.

    With this proposal, there will be a specific ground for criminal exclusion for investigative officers who have used violence in the legitimate performance of their duties and acted in accordance with the applicable rules, the Official Instruction. Violation of the instruction for violence associated with the position will become a criminal offense.”

    No justice for Mitch Henriquez.


  17. microraptor says

    @12: The gun nut lobby uses everything as a reason to buy more guns, so that’s not really something that we should worry about.

  18. billseymour says

    jrkrideau @17

    No shotguns, no bird hunting.

    When I was living in Pittsburgh back in the ’70s, I knew a guy who hunted birds with a rifle. Yes, really. Furthermore, he led them enough that he either got a head shot or he missed. He did miss sometimes.

    And he ate everything he killed. I had trouble finding fault with that.

  19. Ishikiri says

    It’s unprecedented for a city as large as Minneapolis, but this wouldn’t be the first time the council of a US city has voted to disband it’s police department. Compton, CA comes to mind, which disbanded theirs in 2000 and now contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Presumably the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office isn’t going anywhere, and it would be disheartening if most of the money that would have gone to MPD goes to them instead.