Since the police killing of George Floyd on May 25, the issue of policing has been a hot-button topic in Minneapolis and across the nation with calls to reform or dismantle the police. The uptick in violent crime this summer has only intensified discussions around the issue.
The MSR recently took to the streets to gather perspectives of community members about policing. We asked the questions: Are you in favor of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department? What’s your vision for community policing?
Read the reflections below and join the conversation in the comments.
We should defund the police because they are not protecting us. The money is for
protection, but when the police pull up on the scene, we are not protected. I took
justice criminal classes and the police are supposed to come to serve and protect. The police instead are serving against us.
When police start serving and protecting, we can then go from there.
Fix how the police are being trained and checking their backgrounds. Make sure the new hires are actually coming to serve and protect not coming to get power.
I am not in favor of dismantling the police department;I do believe there needs to be
some changes. All police officers are not bad, therefore I don’t think the whole
department should be dismantled.
I believe those who want to be police officers should have to go through a thorough background check, have more intense training and psychological evaluation. There are a lot of things that are missing in training the police and we need to figure out what is missing. Stay Strong!
I’m not in favor of defunding the police in this current state. Violent crimes are
being inflicted upon my people, by my people I mean the African Americans descendants of the slaves. But I am in favor of transforming the police department.
My new form of policing is the community taking care of one another and holding each other accountable. In some regards, there is a need for policing, but I’m not sure what that looks like. We’re talking about a transformation unlike anything we’ve ever seen in this nation.
The relationship with the police and the African American community is the most strenuous and strained relationship there is given the fact that the reason the police exist [historically] is to find a solution to control the slaves to keep them from running away.
In a perfect world, some of our men and women would be walking around engaging. Engagement is not me telling you how to live your life, but how we exist and coexist with each. We have a way of controlling ourselves and holding each other accountable when we are healthy. When our community is healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally and most important economically, we can do all things.
I could never fathom any city without law and order. If it wasn’t any law and order a
person like me would have gotten away with taking. I’m 6’5″ weighing 320 lbs; I’m used to taking what I want.
My daddy told me to remember three famous words and you will never be broke: “Stick them up.” I’ve been in prison and I made people pay me for protection. If I was still doing worldly things, I would prey on the weak. If it weren’t for the police locking me up, I’d probably still be taking things that didn’t belong to me. We need law and order for people like me.
The police need to be re-trained and have stiffer penalties if they overstep their
authority. Some police can take authority too far, especially if they’re weak.
Defunding the police is a broad concept, I am definitely in favor of reform,
reconstructing, and getting more personal with the community. We need police who
are personal in policing, as opposed to police going to a nonviolent scene and looking at the victim as a criminal.
Defunding the police is not the answer but it would get them to open their eyes and reforming their thoughts, reimagine the whole structure of the police. A change definitely needs to come with the police.
Make policing more personal, instead of generalizing every incident as the same. Get
specialized forces out to deal with different situations, like mental health, or
domestic violence. We need police who can deal with and specialize in different
categories to help make that change.
I’m on the fence about it because we do need the police. We also need the police to
have the proper training to be able to work in the community. The police need to be
culturally sensitive, so if you don’t have that you would not understand what’s going
on in the community. If it comes to dismantling what would we do? I heard talk
about contacting other police departments to come in but we would need to think
about the time of how long it takes for police officers to come on the scene.
My vision for police to receive appropriate training, it should be the community
policing the community, that’s the only way we can get people who are cultural
sensitive and the equality that we need in the community.
First thing we need to do is figure out what does dismantling mean. There are rules
and regulations that they want to take away or not take away. I’m against
dismantling if you’re already having problems being protected and the police
department is not up to par, what do you think will happen when they are not there
at all? It opens up for all the nonsense and the gravity of crime and craziness to
We need to police ourselves; it’s a community thing within itself. We
need to regain respect for ourselves, which we should have that automatically. We
should not have to look for someone else to tell us that it’s right or wrong, when we
already know the difference.
Walter “Q Bear” Banks
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I really appreciate this word-on-the-street. Has this article been forwarded to other outlets for publication? This information representing what community members think should not be kept “in house.”