Jacob Frey, the Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, just went through a humiliating public ordeal.
After refusing to endorse the defunding and elimination of his city’s police force, Frey was showered with jeers and ultimately had to leave the scene of a protest on Saturday, The New York Times reported.
No more police
This past weekend, protesters gathered in Minneapolis with the goal of “dismantling” the police department in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died in police custody — at least, that was the stated goal of Jeremiah Ellison, the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and current city councilman who has become a leading voice within the movement.
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” he tweeted on Thursday. “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. It’s really past due.”
Frey himself made an appearance at the protest.
“Will you commit to defunding police, yes or no?” a protester asked the mayor. “And, if he says no, guess what we’re going to do next year,” the protester said, turning to her fellow demonstrators to highlight the fact that Frey is up for election.
Sticking to his guns
It was certainly a difficult situation for any politician, and some credit is definitely due to Frey, as he didn’t give the easy answer that most other Democrats would have given in the same situation.
“I do no support the full abolition of the police,” Frey responded, according to The Washington Times.
It was at this point that Frey was booed out of the area with protesters yelling, “Go home, Jacob, go home!” and “Shame! Shame!”
Later on in the day, Frey participated in a phone interview with the local Fox 9, during which he provided further explanation of his position on the matter.
Frey said that although he does not support the abolishment of the police department, he does support the “deep structural reform of a racist system.” This, said Frey, would include getting rid of the city police union’s ability to collectively bargain.
We’ll have to see whether that satisfies the protesters. But at the moment, things aren’t looking very good for Mayor Frey.