The City of Minneapolis is set to spend $6.4 million to hire dozens of police officers as some City Council members and activists work to replace the department.
“The council voted unanimously on Friday to approve the additional funding, which was requested by police. The department says it only has 638 officers available to work, roughly 200 fewer than usual,” the Associated Press reported.
In December, the city council voted to cut $8 million from the police budget, as previously reported by 100% FED Up.
“This move came just months after the council pledged to abolish the police department altogether,” the article continued:
The plan for the shifting of police funding, called “Safety for All,” follows the city council’s stalled attempt to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department earlier this year.
Minneapolis experienced widespread protests against racism and police brutality — which often turned into violent riots — that were sparked after George Floyd’s death.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis will spend $6.4 million to hire dozens of police officers, even as some City Council members and activist groups are advocating to replace the police department following George Floyd's death.
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) February 14, 2021
However, council members later claimed the group never said it would defund the police.
“‘Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,” Councilman Steve Fletcher stated.
“Thanks and congratulations to everyone who advocated for these important investments to make our city safer and more just,” Fletcher continued. “It’s a big win and an important first step toward a transformed system of public safety.”
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who advocated for these important investments to make our city safer and more just. It’s a big win and an important first step toward a transformed system of public safety. Congrats, especially, to co-authors @MplsWard4 and @MplsWard10.
— Steve Fletcher – Minneapolis Ward 3 (@MplsWard3) December 10, 2020
In June, Council President Lisa Bender said it was “clear that we need to make major shifts both in the short term, and that our community is ready to reimagine public safety from the ground up, to think holistically, and to make sure every single member of our community is safe.”
Despite her statements, a Minneapolis hair salon owner whose business was burned to the ground during the riots denounced the police budget cuts.
“That’s terrible. I don’t think they should cut that $8 million from the police department. No. We need the police, we need them,” Flora Westbrooks said in an interview on Fox & Friends in December.
“A lot of my friends I talk to and they’re not feeling safe right now and with this cutting the budget down to $8 million, they’re not with that either. Neither am I because we need protection here. And especially my community, where I live, yes,” she added.
The city reportedly hopes to have 674 police officers by the end of the year, the AP article concluded.