The worst-laid plans: Minneapolis city council suddenly getting cold feet on abolishing police

Abolish in haste, repent at leisure. The city council at the epicenter of the national unrest  over policing and the death of George Floyd once promised to lead other cities to a police-free Utopia. Three months later, without any plans to accomplish it and with residents and investors balking at the prospect, the Minneapolis City Council’s abolition movement has “lost momentum,” the Star Tribune reports:

The Minneapolis City Council’s resolve to end the city’s police department has lost momentum, the result of the failure to get the question before voters in November and council members’ diverging ideas on the role of sworn officers in the future.

In the three months since nine council members pledged to end the department following George Floyd’s killing, the city has experienced a surge in violent crime, another night of unrest and blowback from residents who felt they had been left out of the initial conversations about change.

Some council members have remained consistent in their statements about policing, while others have softened their rhetoric, saying now that they do envision officers as part of any revamping of public safety.

Most of the city council members have done nothing but make statements. No one has yet to come up with an actual plan for public safety without a police force, mainly because that task is a flat-out impossibility. The city’s Charter Commission refused to put the idea on this year’s ballot without an actual, detailed proposal for how the city planned to enforce the law and keep the city safe. In desperation, the council tried claiming to the commission that their new structure would likely include a police force. So why not just fix the one the city already has?

The biggest voice demanding abolition — and who also accused people who call police for property crimes of grasping at “privilege” — now wants to make excuses for dealing with “complicated” issues:

“I think when you take a statement and then move into policy work, it gets more complicated,” said City Council President Lisa Bender. In the coming weeks, she said, the council will work with city staffers to create a more robust plan for getting feedback from residents on what changes they want to see — and when.

Gee, policy work is “complicated”? Whodathunkit? Perhaps that’s a good reason not to make public promises to do something unprecedented before, oh, doing some due diligence on what it means and what it would take. Instead of dealing with their decades-long incompetence at running their own police department, Bender wanted to change the subject to getting rid of them altogether — and set that as the goal, rather than reforming police practices in place.

Now it looks to those wanting reform that the moment has passed:

“They really did miss the opportunity to create actual change,” said Michelle Gross, of Communities United Against Police Brutality. “It’s almost as if changing the police is a bad word, and you’re supposed to be talking instead about getting rid of police.”

Perhaps the voters in Minneapolis should be talking about getting rid of Bender and the rest of the city council. Even if some think abolishing the police is a good idea, Bender and her cohort are clearly incompetent at it. For the vast majority of the voters, however, the radical plan from Bender et al to leave them at the mercy of violent criminals without any hope of protection should be disqualifying.

If any of these council members get re-elected, then Minneapolis deserves the impoverishment and collapse that will follow.

Continue reading at Hot Air