Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) was unable to provide details on who will respond to violent crimes in her city without a police force, but said the Minneapolis Police Department is “rotten to the root” during a Sunday interview.
“What takes its place?” CNN host Jake Tapper asked the congresswoman. “Who investigates crimes? Who arrests criminals? What happens?”
“Yeah, so, Minneapolis unanimously just voted on a resolution that will engage the community on a one-year process of what happens as we go through the process of dismantling the department and starting anew,” Omar replied.
“A new way forward can’t be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that’s led by a chief who sued it for racism, if we have a department that hasn’t solved homicides – half of the homicides in the Minneapolis Police Department go unsolved. There have been cases where they have destroyed rape kits” she continued.
Omar said Minneapolis can’t reform its police department because “it is rotten to the root.” Instead, she said city leaders can only “rebuild” after the department is dismantled.
“So this is our opportunity as a city to come together, have the conversation of what public safety looks like, who enforces the most dangerous crimes that take place in our community,” she added.
As Omar mentioned, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution Friday declaring its intent to create a “transformative new model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.”
“The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officers, is a tragedy that shows that no amount of reforms will prevent lethal violence and abuse by some members of the Police Department against members of our community, especially Black people and people of color,” states the resolution.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has faced criticism from community leaders, and was even booed out of a protest, because he said he favors reforms to the department over full abolition.
Lisa Bender, the president of the Minneapolis City Council, made several appearances on CNN last week and couldn’t explain who would respond to violent crimes if her city’s police department is actually abolished.
“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,” said Bender. “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.”
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