Ah, what a difference a year makes. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted to unanimously approve $6.4 million in additional funding requested by the city’s police department.
The decision coming as residents beg for more cops, citing an increase in crime and police response times, according to Fox News. In normal times, the vote would have been just another humdrum budget move, but Minneapolis was ground zero to the racially-driven Black Lives Matter riots that swept the country following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.
Floyd, a black man who reportedly had a lethal amount of Fentanyl in his system at the time, died while resisting police. A white police officer was kneeling on his neck before he died — that now-former officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and is scheduled for trial March 8.
In June, the Democrat-run city council voted to dismantle the police department and replace it with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, to offer a “holistic, public health-oriented approach” to law enforcement.
Then-council president Lisa Bender, who did not run for reelection, said at the time, “We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe.”
And while the council would eventually delay that decision, they voted in December to strip $8 million from police for violence prevention and “other services.”
The city council backed away from a proposal at the time to cut the city’s authorized police force to 750 officers in 2022. As it is, the police department is bleeding officers, with just 638 officers available to work after an unprecedented number quit or went on extended medical leave in the fallout over Floyd’s death, as noted by Fox News.
The current total is approximately 200 fewer cops than usual.
The funding agreed to on Friday will go toward hiring dozens of police officers.
Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo committed to an application screening process last week that will ask potential recruits whether they have lived in Minneapolis, have degrees in criminology, social work, psychology or counseling, and whether they are involved in community volunteer work, the network reported.
And the effort to dismantle to police department continues, with outside influences linked to billionaire left-wing philanthropist George Soros being involved.
More from Fox News:
Meanwhile, three City Council members have proposed replacing the police department with a public safety department that would include law enforcement and other services. Yes 4 Minneapolis, a coalition of local community groups, is also collecting signatures to try to get a similar proposal on the November ballot.
The Star Tribune reported the Yes 4 Minneapolis committee is being fueled by a half-million dollar grant from the Washington, D.C.-based group Open Society Policy Center, linked to billionaire George Soros.
The petition would remove police department language from the city’s charter and create a public health-focused Department of Public Safety, “including licensed peace officers if necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the department.”
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