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Minneapolis City Council members get private security detail after reported threats

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https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/504831-minneapolis-city-council-members-get-private-security-detail-after

 

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Three members of the Minneapolis City Council have reportedly been provided with a private security detail after receiving threats for supporting proposals to defund the city's police department in the wake of George Floyd's death. 

The city is currently spending $4,500 per day on security for council members Andrea Jenkins, Phillips Cunningham and Alondra Cano, Fox 9 reported on Friday.

A spokesperson for the city told the outlet that the private security has cost roughly $63,000 over the past three weeks.

The security comes after the three of the council members have reportedly faced threats due to their support for defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

Cunningham told the outlet that the security is temporary, but declined to elaborate on security measures.

“I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have protecting me from those threats,” Cunningham said in a text message to the outlet.

Jenkins said that she has received threats in emails, letters and social media posts.

“My concern is the large number of white nationalist(s) in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” Jenkins told the outlet, adding that she has asked for security since she was sworn in.

Jenkins added that she has not reported the threats to the Minneapolis Police Department because she has been preoccupied with the dual crisis of the “global pandemic and global uprising” over the killing of George Floyd. 

A spokesperson told the outlet that the three council members are being protected by private security services because the city’s police officers are needed in the community amid protests and unrest.

The hourly cost of private security is similar to the cost for a police officer, the spokesperson added. 

The expense does not need to be approved by the city council unless it surpasses $175,000. A spokesperson for the city told Fox 9 that the temporary security costs are not anticipated to rise that high.

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposalthat would amend the city’s charter to allow the city police department to be dismantled. 

The 12-0 vote is the latest push to hold law enforcement accountable after the death of  Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed last month in an encounter with the city's police.

The proposal’s passage is the first step toward making the decision a ballot measure in the November general election. 

 

 

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