Perhaps taking their cues from critics like Barack Obama, the Minneapolis City Council is rebranding the largely-unpopular and radical slogan that has turned millions of Americans into overnight conservatives. While their new proposal is still very much in a “Defund the Police” mold, they’re calling it “Safety for All,” a term that means nothing and is certainly at odds with the likely result to be achieved with the plan.
Three members of the Minneapolis City Council released a “Safety for All” plan on Friday night to cut an additional $7.9 million from the police department’s budget in 2021 and ultimately reduce the authorized sworn force, opting instead to reinvest funding into mental health crisis response and violence prevention methods.
Hours after the proposal became public, a spokesperson for Mayor Jacob Frey’s office expressed “significant concerns” about shrinking the size of the Minneapolis Police Department on a long-term basis.
Those “significant concerns” from the mayor could be related to the extraordinary spike in violent crime that has been surging across Minneapolis since the death of George Floyd and the subsequent riots against police. They may also be related to the Police Department’s sudden difficulty in keeping officers on the streets; some 20% of the force has left the job since this summer, giving the city no choice but to borrow law enforcement officers from neighboring districts. A wise observer would have to wonder if slapping the department with further cuts is really the right answer.
But there’s a severe lack of “wise observers” on the Minneapolis City Council, so we suppose that’s out of the question.
The bottom line is this: If you were even slightly interested by the idea of “defunding the police,” this was the year to take this idea and test it in a real-world environment. To some extent, that’s exactly what they’ve done already in Minneapolis. They’ve done it to some extent in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland as well. The results have been uniformly disastrous. When you run an experiment, you look at the results and you adjust your theories.
Instead, the left is looking directly at this epic failure and deciding, “Yeah, let’s do more of that.”