Last year, the Minneapolis Police Department found itself in the crosshairs of Democratic politicians, activists, and corporate media after a white police officer killed George Floyd during his arrest.
The “Defund the Police” movement emerged from the national unrest and the officer’s trial that ensued. Minneapolis has since cut $8 million from its police budget for this year, redirecting funding to other city programs.
A liberal political group pushing for the total abolition of the city’s police department, Yes 4 Minneapolis, has now collected almost $1 million from progressive, unique interest organizations spread around the nation.
Yes, 4 Minneapolis could get a ballot initiative set for an election in November that will ask voters if the city should disband its Police Department and replace it with a new Department of Public Safety. The initiative asks whether the Minneapolis charter should be amended to create the new department replacing traditional policing with a “comprehensive public health approach” to peace and security.
According to campaign finance filings associated with the initiative, roughly $983,000 in contributions have been received by Yes 4 Minneapolis.
The most significant contributor is MoveOn.org, a long-standing leftist advocacy organization. The group focused on social justice issues provided in-kind contributions of fundraising email lists valued at $430,383. Other contributions came from major blue-state cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City.
As the Defund movement has raged on, Minneapolis has lost around 200 police officers to early retirement, extended leave, or resignation. More than 75 police officers have taken medical leave for post-traumatic stress disorder after last year’s widespread riots in the city.
Minneapolis homicides are even higher in 2021 than last year, rising 16 percent over the same first seven-month period in 2020.
Budget cuts in police departments around the country have resulted in significant staffing cuts, from patrol officers to 911 operators.
Many far-left Democrat politicians continue to push anti-police rhetoric even as crime rates spike in Democrat-controlled cities. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) of St. Louis made news last week when she defended her use of private security, costing her campaign fund thousands of dollars even while demanding the defunding of police.
Bush said that defunding the police “has to happen” and said that current funding should be put into social safety nets “because we’re trying to save lives.”