Minneapolis Officials Calling to ‘Defund Police’ Spend $63G on Private Security
The private security detail costing $4,500 a day in taxpayer's money
Minneapolis City Council members who called to 'defund the police' amid the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd have spent $63,000 on private security detail following death threats.
The private security detail is reportedly costing $4,500 a day in taxpayer's money.
The total spent over the last three weeks now stands at $63,000.
“The names of the people getting security details are not public,” a city spokesperson told Fox News.
But the three council members enjoying taxpayer-funded private security detail have now been identified.
There has been no response to whether there are also additional council members receiving security detail.
Council members had reportedly received death threats after they became vocal about defunding the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
As NPR reported on Friday, Minneapolis unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the city's police department, marking the first step toward establishing a new "holistic" approach to public safety.
The move follows more than a month of nationwide protests against police brutality in the wake of Floyd's death.
The move will essentially eliminate the existing police department and create "a department of community safety and violence prevention, which will have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach."
The City Council advanced a proposed ballot measure today asking voters to create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. https://t.co/bsfjuY6SYY— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) June 26, 2020
One council member told Fox 9:
“I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have protecting me from those threats.”
But they argued the security detail was just a temporary measure.
Another council member added they were concerned about security since they were sworn in.
“My concern is the large number of white nationalist[s] in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” they said.
But the Minneapolis Police Department said it didn't have any records of recent threats against the three council members.
“Council members have reported to staff numerous threats to themselves personally,” the city told Fox News Saturday.
One council member argued that dealing with the “global pandemic and global uprising” has prevented them from reporting the threats to the MPD.
The Minneapolis mayor’s office claimed the cost of the private security detail was roughly the same as the cost for the taxpayer-funded MPD security services.
The private security firms being used by council members include:
“This security service was intended to be temporary and [a] bridge to other security measures implemented by council members themselves,” a city spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) blasted calls to defund police departments.
Gowdy called the idea "the single dumbest idea I have ever heard," arguing it would undermine the entire justice system.
Scott added that the idea to “defund the police” was a “ridiculous idea.”
“It is not an idea whose time has come,” Scott said.