George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020 just a few blocks from my house. The 3rd Minneapolis Precinct was set on fire just a few blocks away in the other direction. My family lived right in the middle of it all: the helicopters, the explosions, the fires and the smoke. This lasted for days.
I was enraged and heartbroken over the callous ending to George Floyd’s life. I knew that the police had to be abolished. I didn’t need them to protect my family and they certainly weren’t protecting anyone else’s.
Since his murder, the Minneapolis City Council has voted to disband the police department. Minneapolis Public Schools divested from the police. The University of Minnesota divested. Minneapolis Parks, Walker Art Center and First Avenue have also pulled their money from the hands of the MPD.
This is a huge deal. In the history of our city, this has never happened before. Public institutions in Minneapolis have never been this quick to terminate police contracts in favor of utilizing new safety measures. It’s an exciting time of possibility.
You know who isn’t excited? People who see police as the only barrier between themselves and harm. The idea that people cannot survive without police is real — it has been so ingrained in our collective consciousness that we simply cannot imagine another way.
I see proof of this every single day when I log onto Facebook. There will be a news article about a shooting and, inevitably, the keyboard warriors will appear, all saying the same thing:
“I bet you want more police now!!”
“You mean the social workers sent in weren’t able to deescalate the situation?”
“It’s because the police are not allowed to do their jobs!”
These are comments that I see and hear over and over again. They are the go-to talking points of people who are locked into the idea that police are here to save us. I wish I had time to respond to every one of these comments, but alas, I have shit to do. And these people should read a book.
Anyway, I decided to list the bare minimum for those who just need a little push or harbor some confusion. This isn’t a deep philosophical discussion about race or an analytical discussion of…