Minneapolis City Council has decided to use more than $ 7 million of the city’s police budget for other social assistance programs in the city.
The Minneapolis budget for 2021 will divert $ 7.7 million from the Minneapolis Police Department to “prevent violence and promote the well-being of the community,” Councilor Steve Fletcher told CNN.
Funds will be used for mental health programs and the Civil Rights Department’s Office of Police Conduct Review to investigate police complaints.
George Floyd’s death in May shed light on policing in the city and led directly to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter last summer as protests lasted for several months. Nine members of the city council initially promised to defuse and dismantle the entire police station, but this met with fierce opposition.
The Minneapolis City Council originally wanted to cut the number of civil servants in the city from 888 now to 750 by 2022. On December 7, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he would veto a decrease in the number of civil servants in the city making the move “irresponsible”.
Other cities and states have also made profound cuts to police budgets in response to the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Seattle City Council passed a $ 3.5 million police budget cut and 100 officers down. Los Angeles approved a $ 150 million police budget cut, San Francisco approved a $ 120 million police cut, and Oakland approved a $ 14.6 million law enforcement budget cut.
Even the capital of the country approved a $ 15 million police budget cut earlier this summer. Other cities that have cut their departmental budgets are Baltimore; Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, Hartford, Conn. Norman, Oklahoma and Salt Lake City.
Most of the cities that cut their police budgets have used the money for social aid programs. These include drug addiction and prevention as well as homelessness.
A hearing on the police budget cuts resulted in more than 300 residents registering and expressing their feelings. The hearing lasted more than five hours, according to CBS Minnesota.