If you think that dismantling an urban police department and replacing it with social workers is nuts, you’re in good company. The very people that the Minneapolis city council claimed to be serving in its attempt to eliminate its own police department have begun blasting the idea as “absurd” and “ridiculous.” African-American leaders within the city are accusing the council of rushing to a conclusion without engaging them — and offering a proposal that will leave them unprotected from violence in the future:
Egregious, grotesque, absurd, crazy, ridiculous.
These are a handful of the words that some local African American leaders are using to rebuke the Minneapolis City Council’s moves toward dismantling the Police Department, even as they demand an overhaul of law enforcement.
While the movement to defund the police has been driven by Black activists, others say that city politicians rushed the process and failed to include a police chief who has the backing of many Black residents.
“They have shown a complete disregard for the voices and perspectives of many members of the African American community,” said Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “We have not been consulted as the city makes its decisions, even though our community is the one most heavily impacted by both police violence and community violence.”
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