(NY DAILY NEWS) – Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed and met with chants of “go home, Jacob” during a protest Saturday after he would not support demonstrators’ call to defund the city’s police department.
After a Minneapolis march headed to Frey’s house, he joined the protesters. An organizer asked Frey if he would commit to defunding the police department, even mentioning how his response could help or hurt his reelection chances.
Frey said he did not support that idea and was met with a chorus of boos and repeated chants of “go home Jacob, go home” and “shame” as he made his way out of the crowd.
Frey later said in a TV interview he did not support defunding the police, but he did support “massive structural reform” that could repair a “racist system.”
“If you’re asking whether I will do everything possible to push back on the inherent inequities that are literally built into the architecture, the answer is ‘yes,’” Frey told CBS Minnesota. “If you’re asking whether I’m willing to do everything I possibly can throughout the rest of my term to make sure that the police union, the police contract, the arbitration system, and some of these policies that have resulted in problems for specifically Black and Brown people and murder over series of generations, I’m all for that.
“I’m not for abolishing the entire police department,” he added. “I will be honest about that.”
Several Minnesota politicians have called for the Minneapolis Police Department to be disbanded. Rep. Ilhan Omar said the department had “proven themselves beyond reform.”
Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison went a step further.
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together,” Ellison said. “We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”