Minneapolis city council members say they'll propose amending charter to allow for abolishing police department

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Friday, June 12, 2020
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis City Council members took a first step Friday toward changing the City Charter to allow for abolishing the police department and replacing it with something else.

Five of the 12 council members said Friday that they'll formally introduce a proposal later this month to remove the charter's requirement that the city maintain a police department and fund a minimum number of officers. Voters would have to approve the change if the proposal makes it onto the November ballot.

The Star Tribune reports the announcement came as council members face increased pressure to further define what they meant when a majority of them pledged to eliminate the Minneapolis Police Department following George Floyd's death.

Council Member Jeremiah Ellison said he still expects to spend a year seeking feedback from the community about how to change the department, but he fears that if they don't remove that charter provision, it will hamper those efforts. He said removing the language alone won't eliminate the department.

Some business groups and Mayor Jacob Frey have said they prefer changing the department over eliminating it completely.