Marking the nearly two weeks of protests following the public outcry of the senseless death of George Floyd on May 25, Minneapolis demonstrators forced one recognizable face out of their protests.
On Saturday (June 6) Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who is up for re-election next year, was booed out of a rally after he declined to make a commitment to defund the city’s police department, according to The New York Times.
After being spotted at a George Floyd rally, Mayor Frey was invited to the front of the crowd and was asked.
“Yes or no? Will you defund the Minneapolis police department?” the protest organizer asked, stating that his 2021 re-election bid depended on his answer.
“I do not support the full abolition of the police,” Mayor Frey said.
Frey was told to leave the protest with chants of “Go home, Jacob, go home!” and “Shame! Shame!” Frey could be seen walking away.
See the video below:
WCCO-Channel 4, spoke with Frey after he left the rally, asking for a further explanation.
“If you’re asking whether I’m for massive structural reform to revise a structurally racist system the answer is ‘yes’. If you’re asking whether I will do everything possible to push back on the inherent inequalities that are literally built into the architecture the answer is ‘yes’,” he said.
“If you’re asking whether I’m willing to do everything I possibly can throughout the rest of my term to make sure that the police union, the police contract, the arbitration system, and some of these policies that have resulted in problems for specifically Black and Brown people and murder over series of generations, I’m all for that. I’m not for abolishing the entire police department, I will be honest about that.”
Cities and states across the nation have called to action the defunding, downsizing or abolishing of police departments following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, who died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, dug his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck nearly nine minutes.
At least four members of the Minneapolis City Council requested the restructuring of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Other major cities have pledged to decrease police. On Wednesday (June 3), Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles said as much as $150 million would be cut from the police budget that was already scheduled to increase. The LAPD’s budget is reportedly nearly two billion.
In New York City, Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, and Daniel Dromm, council member from Queens, are asking Bill de Blasio to decrease NYPD’s $6 billion budget.
It’s not clear if police budget cuts in Los Angeles or New York City equates to abolishing the police.