‘I guess I always knew it was a foolish idea, but I didn’t realize it was this deadly….’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) When asked how Minneapolis would keep its citizens safe without a police department, city council president Lisa Bender claimed that expecting emergency assistance is a “privilege.”
The Minneapolis City Council voted this weekend to begin dismantling its police department and to replace it with a system that “actually keeps us safe.”
But, as CNN anchor Alysin Camerota pointed out, some people are nervous that a law-enforcement absence could jeopardize their rights.
“For instance, what if, in the middle of the night, my home is broken into,” Camerota said. “Who do I call?”
Bender replied: “Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. 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.”
CAMEROTA: “What if in the middle of the night my home is broken into. Who do I call?”
BENDER: “Yes, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know — and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege.” pic.twitter.com/WhubQ9yJIf
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) June 8, 2020
Study after study, however, proves that minority neighborhoods are more dependent on law enforcement, which means that eliminating law enforcement would hurt minorities more.
Harvard economist Roland Fryer found in 2018, for example, that the less contact police had with minority neighborhoods, the higher the homicide rates were, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I never would have guessed that if police stopped putting in the effort, that homicides would change like this,” Fryer said. “You hear some people say ‘Oh, we want to police our own neighborhoods, get out.’ No, you don’t want that. I guess I always knew it was a foolish idea, but I didn’t realize it was this deadly.”
However, the move to defund or abolish the Minneapolis department is far from assured. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has already said he does not support the full abolition of the police department and that he will fight the city council’s attempts to remake it.