Residents of Minneapolis saw their community engulfed in violence last summer following the death of George Floyd at the hands of one of the city’s police officers. Floyd’s death became a flashpoint in progressives’ fight against police brutality and even prompted calls for dismantling the city’s police department and replacing it with a “Department of Public Safety.”
Those calls became a full-fledged proposal that appeared on the ballot this week. But in a decisive move, voters in Minnesota’s most populous city made clear that they weren’t interested.
According to Fox News, the proposal to replace the Minneapolis Police Department was supported by just 44% of voters this Tuesday, with 57% of the electorate coming out in opposition.
“Keep our children, our elderly safe”
The results came as a relief to local resident Sondra Samuels, who had previously filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep the measure from being voted on.
“I kind of trembled a little bit in the voting booth today because I live in one of the neighborhoods most impacted by crime and violence,” Samuels recalled to Fox, noting that she “knew the correlation between the lack of policing and good policing.”
“We can have reform and we can have enough police to keep our children, our elderly safe,” she added, calling the outcome “a win tonight.”
Jerry McAfee, who serves as a pastor at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis, expressed a similar sentiment.
“I’m ecstatic, elated, and saddened at the time same because the elected officials who pushed this thing through left the people that they were supposed to represent and got off into their own personality,” McAfee declared in a talk with Fox.
“They dragged and diverted the attention of what’s really going on in our community to something that is a problem but is minuscule when you look at the cause of violence and everything that goes with it,” he added, as Fox reported.
“Coming from a place of fear”
Not everyone was impressed, however. Erica Mauter, who lives in Minneapolis, said she’s “disappointed” that voters “appear to be coming from a place of fear.”
“When we’re uncertain about the future or when change feels tenuous, we want to go back to what made us feel comfortable and to what we already know,” Mauter told Fox.
She called on fellow residents “to challenge ourselves to have some imagination about different paths to a safer Minneapolis.” For now, however, it seems the residents of Minneapolis aren’t ready to take that step.