Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said Sunday that there is no point in trying to “reform” the Minneapolis Police Department because it is “rotten to the root.”
“You can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root,” Omar told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What you can do is rebuild. And so this is our opportunity, you know, as a city to come together, have the conversation of what public safety looks like, who enforces the most dangerous crimes that take place in our community.”
Omar demanded the abolition of the department shortly after protests, riots and looting erupted as a response to the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police. She suggested Sunday that the current police leadership was tainted with racism and wasn’t doing its crime solving job very well because there were a lot of unsolved murders in the city. (RELATED: DC Mayor Won’t Answer Repeated Questions About Removing ‘Defund The Police’ Mural From City Street)
“A new way forward can’t be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that’s led by a chief who’s suited for racism, if we have a department that hasn’t solved homicides, half of the homicides [investigated by the] Minneapolis Police Department go unsolved,” she told CNN. “There have been cases where they’ve destroyed rape kits.”
The congresswoman suggested that police work should be conducted on two tiers — with the police in charge of one section and some other disciplinary unit looking after the other matters. (RELATED: Philly Restaurant Stops Offering Free Food To Police After Backlash — ‘We Believe Black Lives Matter’)
“Right now they’re moving towards a process where there is a separation of the kind of crimes that solicit the help of, you know, officers, and the kind of crimes that we should have someone else respond to.”
Omar said the recent unanimous decision by the city council to begin “the process of dismantling the department and starting anew” will “engage the community” and seek public input.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has resisted calls to abolish or defund the police. He was shouted down by a crowd of activists when he told them he could not support the policy.