Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN on Monday night that “the idea of having a police-free future is very aspirational” and that she was “willing to stand” with people who want that to be “the goal.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo said, “When you say you see someday being police free, that sounds aspirational in terms of a utopian concept where nobody’s committing any crime because as long as these communities are being preyed upon, both from within and [outside], there’s going to have to be good men and women willing to step up to keep people safe.”
Bender responded, “I think the idea of having a police free future is very aspirational and I am willing to stand with community members who are asking us to think of that as the goal because so many folks in our community have seen us work on reform.”
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN’s Chris Cuomo tonight that a "police free future" is "the goal."pic.twitter.com/94WSE8Xowp
— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) June 9, 2020
Bender’s remarks come after President Donald Trump has hammered Democrats over their lack of push back on calls to defund the police.
“This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police,” Trump tweeted. “Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!”
This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2020
Earlier in the day, Bender said during a separate interview on CNN that people who have their homes broken into by criminals are privileged.
“Do you understand that the word, dismantle, or police-free also makes some people nervous, for instance?” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota said. “What if in the middle of night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?”
“Yes, I mean, hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors,” Bender responded. “And I know — and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege. Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done.”
Later in the day, Bender again appeared on CNN where she was pressed by host Wolf Blitzer.
“What happens if there is a criminal out there with a gun and starts shooting people?” Blitzer asked. “Who will respond if there’s no police force?”
“Look, it is our top priority to keep every single member of our community safe, and if you look back at the last 150 years of our police department it is becoming increasingly clear that that model of policing isn’t working. So we need to invite in our whole community,” Bender responded. “The nine members of the city council that came from every corner of our city to stand together to make this commitment, we don’t have all the answers and what we committed to was a community process to help re-imagine public safety, so yes, we still have a police department in Minneapolis today.”
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