Seven Minneapolis City Council hopefuls and two mayoral candidates say in a local voter guide that they can envision a future Minneapolis with no police, reports the Star Tribune.
Asked, "Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?" two mayoral candidates and two incumbents and five serious challengers running for City Council answered "yes."
Those candidates, who responded to the question for a voter guide compiled by the nonprofit Voices for Racial Justice, said earlier this month they do not plan to eliminate the police department. Instead, several said, they were describing an ideal future in which inequality and racism are eliminated and government policy has solved many of the social problems now handled by police arresting and imprisoning people.
"It's aspirational, but it's way aspirational," said Council Member Lisa Bender, who said yes to the question. "We have a very long way to go before we would approach public safety without police."
Mayoral candidates Mayor Betsy Hodges, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Al Flowers and Aswar Rahman all said "no," the city could never be without police.
Phillipe Cunningham, who's running for council in the Fourth Ward, said a future Minneapolis without police is a "lofty, utopian place of peace and harmony" where inequality and racism are gone, but he knows that is not the city today. "Putting our two feet on the ground right in this moment, we need police and we need them to be better," he said.