Emotions run high over proposed cuts to Minneapolis police budget

Jay Kolls
Updated: November 16, 2020 10:22 PM
Created: November 16, 2020 08:25 PM

More than 160 people testified at a Monday morning meeting of the Minneapolis City Council's Budget Committee.

Many residents spoke out about Mayor Jacob Frey's proposal to cut $14.3 million from the police budget in 2021. There were also quite a few people who supported the mayor's proposed cuts and urged the City Council to cut the police budget even further.

Rick Meihoffer told the committee he spent 22 years in prison and is a convicted felon who does not support the proposed cuts to police. He called the idea "lunacy."

"Every one of the City Council members, in my opinion, should be removed. I mean, this is pure lunacy, and this is a felon telling you this," Meihoffer said. "I mean this is ridiculous. You people need to get your act in order. And the mayor? He's a coward. Honestly, get the police what they need to do their job effectively."

Minneapolis City Council considers 2021 budget

Ruby Levine said she has lived in south Minneapolis for many years and wholeheartedly supports the mayor's budget proposal. She went further saying she would like the City Council to not only support those police cuts but add more social services and job opportunities to help stop violent crime before it happens.

"This is because the police make our neighborhoods less safe. No money has been taken away from police at this point," Levine said.  "The police have withdrawn from their responsibilities, specifically in my community, and over North, because they are upset that people don't like that they regularly kill people."

There are two more public hearings on Frey's proposed budget and a final City Council vote on Dec. 9.

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