Minneapolis council pledges to dismantle police department

A majority of Minneapolis City Council has pledged to dismantle the local police department, a significant move amid nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd’s death last month.

Nine of the 13 councillors said a “new model of public safety” would be created in a city where law enforcement has been accused of racism.

Mayor Jacob Frey earlier opposed the move, drawing boos from the crowds.

Activists, who for years have defended such a move, called it a turning point.

But commentators say Minneapolis can now expect a long and complex debate over policing.

Mr Floyd’s death in police custody triggered mass protests against racism and police brutality. Security measures across the country were lifted on Sunday as unrest started to ease.

Thousands of people are expected to gather on Monday for a public viewing of Mr Floyd’s body in Houston, his home city in Texas before he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. A private funeral will be held on Tuesday.

A video of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, pinned to the floor with a white police officer kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes sparked worldwide outrage.

Officer Derek Chauvin has been dismissed and charged with second-degree murder. He will make his first court appearance later on Monday.

Three other officers who were at the scene have also been sacked and charged with aiding and abetting.

<<BBC>>