in Minneapolis, the “dismantling” of the police promises to be more complicated than expected


“I’ve failed. We have failed. “ Three weeks after the death of George Floyd, an African-American 46-year-old, during his arrest, Phillipe Cunningham, the city councilman who represents neighborhoods in north Minneapolis (Minnesota) – of which a large part of the population is black, do not play the language of wood when asked about the policy of public safety of the city. It is necessary well to this confession of failure to explain what drove nine of the twelve elected members of council to propose, on the 7th of June, a revolutionary solution in the face of the abuse of forces of law and order : “a process of dismantling “ the MPD, the police department of this city of 430,000 inhabitants.

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The video of the last 8 minutes and 46 seconds of the life of George Floyd, held to the ground by a white policeman, Derek Chauvin, the knee on the nape of the neck, the nights of the riots, the abandonment of an office left to the flames and looters, but also the mobilization and the pacific and multi-racial novel, has shaken the certainties of the young leader democrat of 32 years, elected in 2017, and those of his colleagues.

“I have advocated projects outside of the police, and I tried to reform the institution from within. I fought for every penny. But the political will was on the side of the increase in the budget of the MPD. For the past three weeks, all this has changed radically “, does he want to believe.

Between scepticism and questions

A city without police ? Everyone in Minneapolis knows that this will not be as simple – and simplistic. At the crossing of the 38e street and Chicago Avenue, where George Floyd died, the people gathered once again, Sunday, June 14, swinging between skepticism and questions. “It is possible. But unlikely “sighs Montrell Armstrong, a high school student afro-american, 18 years of age. “We can’t dismantle the police, because we need its protection “, is worried about Walter, a retired pilot of the 75-year-old native of Guyana, who denounces yet with the force of the racism of the forces of law and order.

A people exchange with a police officer on a scene of crime, in Minneapolis (Minnesota), June 16.

Mari Mansfield, an artist from the Latin end of the quarter, which was painted the names of victims of police on the tarmac of Chicago Avenue, also warns : “It is necessary to have conscience of the reality. If we abolished the police, what is there ? The sheriff [qui opère au niveau du comté et dans les villes sans service de police] ? It is always the police, it is not a big difference. “ The young woman, who works in the schools, is concerned and for the school district, which has severed its ties with the MPD in response to the events. “What will happen now ? Private security guards, who may be police officers out of service, or less well trained ? “

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