Demonstrators told Minneapolis, Minn., Mayor Jacob Frey to leave a rally on Saturday after he declined to commit to defunding the police. The protesters booed and chanted, “Go home, Jacob, go home,” and “shame” as Frey walked away. The city has been the epicenter of protests across the country after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
According to Newsweek, a protest organizer from the group Black Visions Collective, whose website says their mission is to “defund the Minneapolis Police Department and invest in the resources that really keep us safe and healthy” asked Frey directly if he supported their cause.
“We have a yes or no question for you: Will you commit to defunding the Minneapolis Police Department? We don’t want no more police, is that clear?” the organizer asked.
While the organizer quieted the demonstrators to hear Frey’s response, she added, “It’s important for everyone to hear this because if y’all don’t know he’s up for re-election next year… And if he says ‘no,’ guess what the fuck we gonna do next year.”
“I do not support the full abolition of the Police Department,” the mayor replied.
The protestors reacted by insisting Frey leave, showering him with boos and chants.
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Later on Saturday, Frey told WCCO-TV that he supported “massive structural reform” but said, “I’m not for abolishing the entire police department, I will be honest about that.”
Mayor Frey said:
“If you’re asking whether I’m for massive structural reform to revise a structurally racist system the answer is ‘yes’. If you’re asking whether I will do everything possible to push back on the inherent inequities that are literally built into the architecture the answer is ‘yes’. If you’re asking whether I’m willing to do everything I possibly can throughout the rest of my term to make sure that the police union, the police contract, the arbitration system, and some of these policies that have resulted in problems for specifically Black and Brown people and murder over series of generations, I’m all for that. I’m not for abolishing the entire police department, I will be honest about that.”