Update (1245ET): A Biden spokesman said on Monday that the former VP "does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain..."
"Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain. Biden supports the urgent need for reform..." pic.twitter.com/k0IConBSj3— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 8, 2020
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President Trump has been linking Joe Biden with a Democrat-led movement to "defund the police," as the city of Minneapolis City Council pledged to "begin the process" of dismantling its police force, according to Bloomberg.
"The ‘Defund the Police’ movement is growing in Joe Biden’s party and he is forced to own it," said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. "Police organizations have noticed that Biden has abandoned them as he moved far to the left to appease the most radical elements in his party."
Biden notably hasn't endorsed the movement - though as another new Democrat slogan goes, "silence equals consent."
The movement to defund the police comes after the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. Activists supporting the idea have taken a range of positions - including shifting money towards 'economic and social ills that disproportionately affect blacks and other people of color,' according to the report.
"When we talk about defunding the police, what we’re saying is invest in the resources that our communities need," said Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
While Minneapolis has a veto-proof majority with 9 out of the council's 13 members supporting the measure, actually defunding the police won't be that easy according to local TV station Fox9.
According to the city charter, the council is responsible for the funding of the department -- and is required to maintain a minimum force determined by the city's population -- about 723 officers based on recent population estimates.
The mayor's office is given "complete power" over the department under the charter as well. Currently, the city's budget allows for about 888 sworn officers.
In order to change, the charter, an amendment would require a public vote or full approval of the entire city council along with the mayor. -Fox9
"We might have to take it to the people to have a vote on it, but I think there are a lot of ways in which the council can move forward with the plan even if the mayor isn’t on board," said Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, who is in support of the effort.
BREAKING: Minneapolis City Council President says having police is a sign of ‘privilege’ pic.twitter.com/NPVON4cseJ— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 8, 2020
The mechanics of a police-less Minneapolis are still unclear, as the council says they are still 'working on a plan.'