Minneapolis Council President Struggles to Explain Who Will Respond to Violent Crimes Without Police


Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender made several appearances on cable news programs Monday and was unable to articulate who would respond to violent crimes if her city’s police department is actually abolished.

During a Sunday event, nine members of Minneapolis’s 12-member council committed to defunding and abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). With nine votes, the idea has a veto-proof majority and can move forward with or without the support of Mayor Jacob Frey, who favors reforms over full abolition.

According to a press release, the nine council members have committed themselves to “ending” the MPD and “creating a new transformative model.”

“We’ll be taking intermediate steps towards ending the MPD through the budget process and other policy and budget decisions over the coming weeks and months,” said the release, which called for a “police-free future.”

Bender was repeatedly asked Monday about who would respond to violent crimes if there were no police officers.

“Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors, and myself too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done,” she said on CNN’s “New Day.”

She then joined Wolf Blitzer for an interview later in the day and was asked the same question, this time admitting that “we don’t have all the answers.”

“Look, it is our top priority to keep every single member of our community safe. If you look back at the last 150 years of our police department, it is becoming increasingly clear that that model of policing isn’t working. So we need to invite in our whole community. The nine members of our city council that came from every corner of our city to stand together to make this commitment – we don’t have all the answers. What we committed to was a community process to help reimagine public safety,” said Bender.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo noted that the council’s actions have given President Donald Trump a great talking point in the middle of an election year.

“Politically, it’s playing like dynamite. You’ve got the president hitting every Democrat over the head with this suggestion and he can,” said Cuomo.

Bender told Cuomo that the council’s “idea of having a police-free future is very aspirational.”

“I agree that our number one priority is the safety of every single person in our community, and yes, we still have a police department today, we have had a police department for 150 years,” she said. “So as we look forward into the future, the answer is yes, absolutely, if something is happening, there needs to be someone to call.”

– – –

Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Lisa Bender” by CNN.







Related posts

One Thought to “Minneapolis Council President Struggles to Explain Who Will Respond to Violent Crimes Without Police”

  1. Susan Harlan

    If you disband the local police, the federal government will step in with federal police. You will not only give up your civil rights, you will dismantle the entire state of Minnesota. Once that is done there will be no freedom, no safety and no one’s lives will matter. Everything you worked for your entire life will go away. Put new training techniques in place, more people of color, subdue without harm ALL people. Once handcuffed get the F*ck! off. ANY continued violence after a suspect is cuffed should land the police person in jail with suspension, and loss of job and pension. Your neighborhood watch isn’t going to save your daughter from being raped, your son from being beaten. How many times have you been in trouble and watched all the people that could help you but none of them lifted a finger?! And don’t think that because I’m white I don’t know….I watched six police officers kick and beat my uncle who was cuffed face down on my front porch. Because he had a gun he was going to kill himself with, and they misunderstood the call? I watched them come in take the gun, cuff and then kick him over and over and over. He died within a year from a cerebral hemorrhage. I still believe with need local law enforcement. I still will not give up my rights to the federal government and wipe out individual states one at a time. Think about it….Black Lives Matter and I love everyone equally but think about this. People with other agendas are using this to ruin us all…..