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Wed Jun 24, 2020, 06:16 PM

On Minneapolis' North Side, residents question calls to defund police


Now those forces had converged in the latest of a spate of shootings on the North Side, as city leaders scrambled to call in outside law enforcement to help stop the violence.

“I know on one side of the city, it looks beautiful for defunding to happen,” Franklin said from the parking lot of Merwin Liquors as investigators marked shell casings that fell inches from where his car had driven. “But here on this side of the city, I’m scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?”

Surveying the block, Steven Belton, president and CEO of the Urban League Twin Cities, noted a “significant, dramatic uptick” in violent crime since June 7, when nine Minneapolis City Council members publicly pledged support for defunding police.

Belton called the move irresponsible, even as he supports transforming the department. He said those council members had not consulted with people who have a stake in the black community, particularly those on the North Side.

Violent people “have used that sound bite — ‘defund the police’ — as an indication that there is no consequence, that there is no policing, and [concluded] that they are free to do whatever they want to do,” Belton said.



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