Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke to Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday and defended her support of the Minneapolis City Council's recent vote to dismantle its police department. As reported by Breitbart, the vote showed unanimous support for a resolution that will guide the community through the process of dismantling the city's police department over one year.
"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 homicide," Omar said.
"Half of the homicides in Minneapolis Police Department go unsolved."Omar also claimed that the department is "rotten to the root" and past the point of being reformable. In particular, she claimed that the city has seen rape cases where the department has destroyed rape kits. In order to much past such alleged corruption, Omar claims that the department must be rebuilt.
"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."The progressive congresswoman pointed to San Francisco's move to distinguish between crimes that warrant police officers' help and those that could be dealt with by an alternative method.
When Tapper pressed Omar on the process that comes after the dismantling of the police department, she claimed it would be followed by the creation of new infrastructure — opposite to some accusations that defunding is an attempt to abolish police altogether.
Calls to defund police departments come in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who is currently imprisoned and facing charges. As reported by Star Tribune, at least seven of the city's police officers have resigned amid protests of Floyd's death. The officers reportedly believe that they are not receiving adequate support from city officials and police leadership. In addition, department officials claim that more than half a dozen officers in the force are in the midst of resigning. Despite the wave of resignations, police spokesman John Elder claims that the department's ability to protect the community will remain unaffected.
Along with Omar, fellow progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been leading calls to defund police departments across the country. According to Ocasio-Cortez, such funds should be invested in community and social programs.