- Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of a demonstration on Saturday after he told protesters he would not defund the city’s police department.
- Frey left the rally as people shouted “shame on you” and “go home, Jacob, go home.”
- The confrontation comes as the thousands of people across the country are protesting racism and calling for police reform, with some calling on authorities to defund police departments.
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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of a demonstration on Saturday after he told a group of protesters that he would not support abolishing the police department.
In a surprising twist of events, the mayor, who initially came to join protesters in the city, was filmed walking away as hundreds of protesters chanted “shame on you” and “go home, Jacob, go home.”
Several videos on social media show the initial confrontation, in which Frey was asked by a group of protesters if he supported defunding the Minneapolis Police Department. When he said he did not, people started booing and told him to leave.
Watch the moment unfold below:
Minneapolis mayor's attempt to show solidarity with protesters takes an unexpected turn here. pic.twitter.com/DLchX1e8si
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) June 7, 2020
A spokesperson for Frey told CNN that the mayor is “unwavering in his commitment to working with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo toward deep structural reforms and uprooting systemic racism. He does not support abolishing the police department.”
The incident comes as tens of thousands of people across the US are protesting racism and calling for police reform following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from Minneapolis,who died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
On Friday, Frey signed a temporary restraining order to ban the use of chokeholds by police and require them to file a report anytime they see unauthorised use of force by another officer, according to ABC News.
The mayor, who also attended Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis on Thursday, said in a statement: “George Floyd’s service yesterday underscored that justice for George requires more than accountability for the man who killed him – it requires accountability from elected leadership to deep, structural reforms.”
A growing number of protesters across the country are calling for police departments to be defunded.
This means asking city officials to use their budget to invest in marginalised communities instead of funding a police department, according to CNN.
Some steps have already been taken. This week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a proposal to cut $US150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department to reinvest in communities of colour. Garcetti, a Democrat, said the goal was to free up money “so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education, and in healing.”