After calling to ‘defund police,’ Minneapolis councilmembers hire private security details

The hourly cost of private security is about the same it would cost to hire a police officer.

By World Israel News Staff

The City of Minneapolis is spending nearly $4,500 a day of taxpayers’ money to provide private security details for three council members who strongly support the “defund police” movement, reported Fox News local affiliate Fox 9 on Friday.

According to the report, transgender councilmembers Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, and Latina councilwoman Alondra Cano were given private security three weeks ago after receiving death threats via emails, letters, and social media posts.

“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 told the news outlet via text message.

“My concern is the large number of white nationalists in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” Jenkins wrote in an email.

Cano did not respond to attempts by the news outlet for comment.

It is estimated that the hourly cost of private security is about the same it would cost to hire a police officer to do the same duties.

However, a spokesperson for Minneapolis Police told Fox 9 that the department has not been notified of any death threats against the councilmembers, but it is possible the reports were filed confidentially.

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously advanced a proposal to change the city charter to allow the police department to be dismantled, following widespread criticism of law enforcement over the killing of George Floyd.

The 12-0 vote is just the first step in a process that faces significant bureaucratic obstacles to make the November ballot, where the city’s voters would have the final say. It also comes amid a spate of recent shootings in Minnesota’s largest city that has heightened many citizens’ concerns about talk of dismantling the department.

The proposed amendment, which would replace the police department with a new “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention” that has yet to be fully defined, next goes to a policy committee and to the city’s Charter Commission for a formal review, at which point citizens and city officials can weigh in.

Associated Press contributed to this report