On Sunday, the city of Minneapolis took a decision that will undoubtedly have far reaching ramifications for both racial justice and police accountability. In a stunning decision, the city council voted to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.
The decision comes nearly a fortnight after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, killed George Floyd, an African-American man by pressing his knee into the back of the victim’s neck for close to nine minutes, causing him to stop breathing. Floyd’s murder had sparked outrage in the city, with protesters even burning down the 3rd Precinct building.
But the violence eventually dissipated and gave way to more peaceful protests that maintained pressure over local authorities to take action against the police and hold them accountable for their brutality. As protests spread across the nation, it became impossible to stop the juggernaut, and city authorities were forced to concede defeat.
Nine council members including city council president Lisa Bender voted to dismantle the police department, making it an un-vetoable vote. In a statement released soon after, they said, “Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions. We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.”
Responding to the development Kandace Montgomery, Director of Black Visions, said, “It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here. George Floyd should not have been murdered for so many people to wake up. It shouldn’t have taken young Black folks risking their lives in these streets, over and over. I want to honor all of the organizers and communities who – for generations – have dreamed and worked to make this day happen.”
Meanwhile, Sunday also saw perhaps the biggest rally in Los Angeles demanding justice for George Floyd and countless other African-American people killed as a result of police violence. Hollywood elite who are often accused of only paying lip service to race related issues, for once, walked the talk by taking to the streets in a protest march that saw participation from over 20,000 people. This video by filmmaker Ron Kurokawa captures the virtual sea of humanity that came together to protest police brutality and systemic racism.
Actor Michael B. Jordan delivered a passionate speech, illustrating practical ways in which Hollywood and corporate America in general could become more inclusive and conscious about race related issues.
Here are a few other sights and sounds from the protest captured and shared by Tweeple:
Protests took place in multiple locations in and around Los Angeles county including Hollywood, East Los Angeles, Venice, Glendale, Pasadena, and many other places. More protests are planned throughout the week. For more information follow @BLMLA
Meanwhile, the National Guard is all set to leave Los Angeles after a week-long deployment.