Minnesota City Counsel President Lisa Bender on Disbanding police: Fear of crime is from ‘A place of privilege’

UPDATE: NEWS TALK with BRANDON & BOB features a discussion of life after disbanding and/or defunding the police. What will life look like in these big cities? What is the replacement plan going forward? How will these areas be policed?

Check out the clip below.

Who are you goin’ call?

This is seemingly a simple question for the president of the Minnesota City Council Lisa Bender when asked about disbanding the city’s police department in response to the George Floyd murder. Bender’s response is making national headlines.

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked “What if, in the middle of the night, my home is broken into. Who do I call?”

“Yes, I mean I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors, and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege,” Bender replied. “Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done.”

Bender offered her vision of what’s to come.

“We are not starting from scratch we have invested in community-based safety strategies…we’ve done an analysis of all the reasons people call 911 and have looked at ways we can shift the response away from police officers into a more appropriate response for mental health calls. So the groundwork is laid already in Minneapolis for us to work from that,” Bender said.

Camerota asked if Bender feared that dismantling the police system is giving President Trump a talking point for the upcoming election.
“It starts with telling the truth,” she said. “I think we’ve been afraid of those political dynamics, of what would happen in our city to have our police force hearing those type of words and that fear is what we have to work through.”

Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council on Sunday announced they intend to defund and dismantle the city’s police department.

“(We need) to listen, especially to our black leaders, to our communities of color, for whom policing is not working and to really let the solutions lie in our community,” Bender has explained.

Jeremiah Ellison, city councilman for Ward 5, tweeted a similar message Thursday, writing, “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.”

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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