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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Real change is still missing in Minneapolis

Real+change+is+still+missing+in+Minneapolis

Five months ago, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police, and since then nothing in the city of Minneapolis has changed. 

Nationwide protests were sparked in the weeks following which only served to further highlight the state of police brutality in our country as police went out into cities every night to throw tear gas and shoot rubber bullets at people peacefully protesting.

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, was called on specifically to respond to the actions of Minneapolis police and to commit to bringing actual change to the city by abolishing the police. This wasn’t something that he could agree to. Frey holds no power over the police department in the city that he supposedly runs. 

No city or state official could give an answer to what was going to be done to stop police brutality and racism in Minneapolis. They preached unity in the city while instilling a six o’clock curfew to make it so they had the ability to legally arrest protesters who were doing nothing wrong.

Minnesota is a blue state. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is a Democrat. Jacob Frey is a Democrat.

Minneapolis is a city run by Democrats, but that didn’t stop any of this from happening, and it hasn’t stopped Minneapolis from having a long history of police brutality.

It doesn’t matter where any of these people fall politically if they will never take anti-Black violence enacted by police and the state seriously. This isn’t a political issue, this is people’s lives in danger, but they’re too scared to commit to saying anything for fear of being seen as too radical and not being reelected.

Even when promises are made, they tend to fall through quickly and are only done to temporarily appease people by telling them what they want to hear.

One of the biggest promises made came from the Minneapolis City Council at the beginning of June when they voted to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department. This news was met by celebration from people everywhere who saw this as a step finally being made in the right direction. 

However, none of this has played out as anybody have hoped. Shortly after stating that they would defund and dismantle the police department, members of the city council started changing their story. They stayed behind their initial statement that they would abolish the police, but then they started following that by saying that they would replace the police department with an alternative law enforcement body. 

This was not the same promise that they had been making since June. Vowing to abolish the police and then announcing that you will then be creating another group charged with enforcing the laws in the city changes nothing. A cop by a slightly different name is still a cop.

But, none of that matters because there is still no timeline of when any of this change will happen. The initial plan was for this to be included on the ballots in November, however the Minneapolis Charter Commission who would oversee the proposed change by city council voted to take more time to review the plans and delayed their implementation. 

Now, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the four police officers responsible for the murder of Floyd, have been released on bail. Their trial won’t start until March of next year and everybody in Minneapolis has been left wondering when change will finally come.

Just last month, 646 protesters were arrested on Interstate 94 by Minneapolis police while protesting police violence and racism. 

Everybody in Minneapolis knows that having Democrats elected means nothing when it comes to acknowledging anti-Black violence at the hands of police. Having Joe Biden as a president is not going to solve systemic racism. Joe Biden himself has made promises that he will not fundamentally change policing or defund any departments, so why should we believe otherwise? When has he ever indicated that he is willing to bring change to deal with issues that the country was still facing during the Obama administration?

Joe Biden has the power to bring real change, but he won’t. In Minneapolis, Jacob Frey and Tim Walz won’t either. 

People will keep protesting and keep demanding change, and you have to hope that one day that will finally be enough.

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