Minneapolis currently spends $4,500 per day on private security for three council members who are facing death threats. The council members are Andrea Jenkins, Phillips Cunningham, and Alondra Cano. The trio disclosed their lives have been at risk since they supported proposals to have the Minneapolis police department defunded following the brutal killing of George Floyd.
A spokesperson for the Minneapolis City Council revealed that the council has spent around $63,000 over the past three weeks when privacy security services had been contracted for the council officials. The councilmen would not disclose the specifics of their security even though they noted the arrangement is temporary.
“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.
They said unknown people had sent them numerous threats on social media, via letters, and emails. Jenkins said she requested private security since she became a council member, adding that the overwhelming population of white nationalists in Minneapolis is threatening not to mention the significant number of threats sent her way.
According to Jenkins, preoccupation with the spiking cases of COVID-19 and the aftermath of Floyd’s had not allowed her to initially report the rising threats to the Minneapolis police until the council decided to do something about it.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson said every single police officer in the state is needed to manage the protests that erupted following Floyd’s death, and there was no way any police officer could have been pulled away from the unrest to provide security for the council officials. The mouthpiece said the hourly pay for private security is comparable to that of a police officer, and that the city council is not required to approve the security costs unless it exceeds $175,000.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis City Council in a unanimous 12-0 vote adopted a proposal to amend the charter of the city so that the city police department can be dissolved. Voters may also vote on the decision in the general election in November and this is a major step to making the police accountable for the death of Floyd, an unarmed African American.