On Friday, the Minneapolis city council approved a budget that would increase funding for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), restoring the department’s budget to what it was prior to the beginning of the “Defund the Police” movement, as reported by the Epoch Times.
The $1.6 billion budget, approved by the city council and Mayor Jacob Frey (D-Minn.), includes an allocation of $191 million for the MPD, marking a dramatic shift from just one month earlier when activists were on the verge of completely eliminating the department altogether.
Minneapolis became ground zero for the far-left movement to defund and abolish police departments across the country, which started in the summer of 2020. The movement was sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died of a fentanyl overdose while in police custody last May; his death was blamed on the arresting officers, most prominently former officer Derek Chauvin, who arrested him for disorderly conduct after he attempted to use counterfeit money to make a purchase. Race riots subsequently broke out all across the country, with far-left terrorist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa burning down dozens of cities over the course of the following months.
Numerous initial efforts by the city council to defund the MPD were ultimately blocked by Mayor Frey, as well as rules within the city charter that prevented the council from unilaterally making such decisions regarding the police department. On November 2nd, as numerous other elections were held across the country, the city of Minneapolis voted on a resolution to completely abolish the MPD and replace it with a “Department of Public Safety.” The voters of Minneapolis overwhelmingly rejected the measure, leaving the MPD in place.
Nevertheless, the MPD has over 300 resignations and retirements, leading to a short-staffed department and a subsequent rise in crime throughout the city.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Frey’s office said that the newly-passed budget reflected a “sustained commitment to public safety.” Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council, described the vote as “a first step on a long road back from the division over public safety that has characterized the past 18 tumultuous months in Minneapolis.”