The president of the Minneapolis City Council said expecting help from the police “comes from a place of privilege.”

CNN anchor Alysin Camerota asked Lisa Bender, the president and representative from Ward 10, whom she should call if someone broke into her home, during an interview Monday morning, a day after the city council voted to dismantle the police department.

“Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors,” she explained. “And I know ⁠— and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege. 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.”

“And so in the very immediate, we have to lean into whatever changes we can make in our existing police department,” Bender said. “You know, I think we look to cities like Camden, New Jersey, that completely restructured their department, as we build up systems. And we’ve already done that. We are not starting from scratch.”

A veto-proof majority from the city council signed the pledge despite opposition from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

The mantra to “defund the police” has become a rallying cry during protests that have taken place since the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite his pleas for air.

The officer who pressed a knee to Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was fired from the department and has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers who were involved in detaining Floyd, who was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill, were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Protesters have sought to raise awareness about systemic racism and police brutality against nonwhite people. Some activists have called for abolishing the police, but observers say the “defund the police” movement is more about shrinking the police budget and shifting funds over to mental health services, affordable housing, and other services.

Author: Mike Brest

Source:Washington Examiner : Minneapolis City Council president: Calling police for break-in ‘comes from a place of privilege’