A crowd of protesters shouted for Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to leave after he voiced opposition to abolishing the city’s police department.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched throughout the city on Saturday advocating for cutting funding to the Minneapolis Police Department following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The protest, which passed by the Minneapolis Police Federation’s union headquarters, ended up outside Frey’s home.
He addressed the crowd, saying he supports major reforms to the police department. “I do have to take responsibility,” Frey, who was wearing a mask, said into a microphone. “I have been coming to grips with my own responsibility, my own failure in this.”
Frey was then put on the spot, asked if he would defund the department. “I do not support the full abolition at the police department,” he replied.
Chants of “Go home Jacob, go home,” ensued as the crowd parted, allowing Frey to leave.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey showed up today at the protests. He was asked if he would commit to abolishing/defunding the police. Incredible to witness crowd hold him directly accountable. Man did a literal walk of shame. pic.twitter.com/v645mfIZHt
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) June 6, 2020
Members of the MinneapolisCity Council have voiced support for abolishing the city’s police department for a “transformative new model of public safety.” Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat whose district includes Minneapolis, told protesters the city should “not only disinvest in the police department they should completely dismantle it.”
When the council met on Friday, they voted to require the Minneapolis Police Department to update its manual “to prohibit the use of all neck restraints or choke holds for any reason” and require officers to report any incident in which they see a fellow officer using a chokehold or neck restraint. The action still requires a judge’s approval.
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 fake $20 bill, were also fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.