Transcript for Did ‘Defund the police’ live up to its promise?
Tomorrow marks six months since the world watched George Floyd's life and after knee and an officer the streets erupted soon after his calls grew for a radical transformation policing in America cash this won't sign a pandemic and hunger crisis will be a huge challenge for the biting Harris administration which. The status in the so called to fund the police movement are Alex pres examined in Minneapolis. And what can be learned from that city's struggles. It. This scorers and community wounds of from the summer of unrest can still be seen everywhere. Six months after the world watched the George Floyd's final moments the rubble of the third precinct police station. Is seemingly frozen in time burned down to the ground by protesters. Some owners wearied of repeated looting and never took on the boards they're protected their businesses. And graffiti across the city echoing the rallying cry of many protesters. Abolish the police. A promise is so Minneapolis City Council members made as they tried to convince the community what happened to Floyd would never happen to anyone else. Did they aren't these toxic agent Jeff Minneapolis. Heath department. But that controversial promise hits a major roadblocks. Earlier this month the commission that oversees the city's charter and constitution of rejecting the council's proposal to dismantle the police. The next option would be to let residents vote on the matter that's if the council can get it on the ballot in time for 20/20 one. According to recent stats released by the MPD so far this year already more than seventy homicides it's nearly double the number all of last year. Assaults 124%. Robberies climbing 45%. And carjackings. By an alarming 300 in 19%. The council ultimately granting the police department an additional 500000. Dollars to bring in officers from surrounding agencies to help police the city. City is bleeding at this moment I'm trying to do all I can to stop that bleeding. And I am hoping that if you're having the funds to to launch a citywide to an enforcement team initiative. We can try to you have try to stop the bleeding here in our city. You voted. Eastbound at least three. Community organizer Marcia Howard calls the funding moved a slap in the face 500 more thousand dollars. To get outside cops to comment to this it. When one of the biggest problem was that over 80% of the cops in Minneapolis don't live in Minneapolis they're not our community but that police are. It's a problem Howard maintains that George Floyd memorial site in south Minneapolis she says she was hopeful when the City Council initially voted to defund the police. Now she's unsure what the future holds for residents who don't trust and fear police especially in the corner. That has seen over releasing over Crennel was patient. And callous murder of a black person with impunity. There are some dole argument to be made. That deep fog and police and taken those monies and putting it in passing it into deterrents putting it and investing. Into social services. Would be a better option. But according to a recent poll by local news outlets of 44%. Of Minneapolis residents don't want to see a reduction of the police force. Compared to 40% who do the rest unsure. David baking owns a small. He says he's seen the rise in crime firsthand. Shootings in the neighborhood are definitely out. We see it here catalytic converter thefts are up. We hear more about people's cars being stolen there is some significantly increased and certain types of crime. Baking is a member of a local police watchdog group he supports reforming the police conducting funding it. And some of the lot noticed activist and some City Council members have pushed for. They didn't ask anybody else before they need that resolution. Or before they introduced the charter amendment. They just talked to people who they do we're going to agree with them so this has been a problem for a long long time. According to that same poll many who oppose less police on the street are African American. A black residents surveyed 50% say they don't agree with shrinking the police force. Lisa Clemens is a former cop and no runs a violence prevention organization in Minneapolis. She argues the recent rise in crime is proof the city needs police officers majority of our scoreboard. Some ground community but it works with the police and chief. Because we know we can't let alone the mood can. We see in Minneapolis in particular violence numbers or does skyrocket now months weeks after George Lowe a hot. Police afraid to do their job and they're free to do their job I think that's hard. I think they feel BRR. And I think you have to be able to. You know why and how it cheers when he will do the job you were hired to do. Well I do understand that feeling of abandonment. Or let it let go off this is all we have is. According to the MPD they've seen a reduction in staff response times in the city are reportedly slower and morale in some areas of the force is low. The department issuing a statement ABC news at reading in part right now or officers are committed to serving the communities they've sworn to protect. Our officers are showing up every day and doing the best job they can do with the resource is there provided. The addition of outside support will allow us to target violent crimes. And the response to those crimes. This is not where Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison who supports the funding thought the process to dismantle the Minneapolis police force would be six months after Floyd's death what do you say to these people six months later at a field. Really were still in the same place if people feel not a lot of in the last month. I think you're right on command chief. Rewrote a argues or policy that I had been rewritten as recently it's. I had ultimately. We're doing the same old things and doing with regard to our report. And has hello to a lot. And it's not just Minneapolis to defund the police movement across the country is facing challenges on many levels. During the towing to an election president trump using the turmoil to paint a picture of chaos it's crazy what's going on defund. And abolish. The police have static that I. On the other end of the political spectrum progressives like represented of Alexandria O'Costa Cortez supporting significant systemic change. Meanwhile president elect Joseph Biden adamant that he does not support abolishing police and I'm not only opposed the funding to police officers. Professor Alex Vitale who has written in favor of sharply reducing police presence in communities. Says it's the term defund the police that is more controversial than the policies themselves. I don't have any in Bessemer. In the term defund the police that's not a term that I ever used for this summer. One that I regularly used now. When we talk to people. About the idea of addressing their problems are not a police strategies. Turns out that is in fact very popular. And so what's needed is more work on the ground in communities all types. Were down to explore what these alternatives might look. And while the focus is on Minneapolis it's not the first city to work to implement measures to scale back the presence of police in their communities if you look at this release. Actually took very concrete steps in this direction it was primarily those cities where there had been extensive are going well organizing. Happening for years book where this summer. And that's means that this is something that's gonna take. The city is now in the process of setting its budget for tweet when he won at the forefront of voters' minds. The nearly 180 million dollars currently allocated for the police force a final vote on the budget by the council is set for December 9. We are improper now Healy we talk and talk about eight. What brings us here. Yeah. As for organizers like Marcia Howard that weathered to funding police materializes or not she says she'll keep fighting for change. What we're doing right here in Minneapolis. Has. Made impact throughout the world. And we continue to do it and we'll stand in solidarity against systemic racism against anti blackness. Am against policing as we know. We're not going anywhere Alex Perez ABC news Chicago.
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