For Mpls. City Council Members, ‘Defund The Police’ Divisive At DFL Convention

Esme Murphy looks at how "defund police" supporters could fare in this year's election (1:53). WCCO 4 News At 6 - June 10, 2021

Video Transcript

- Most years, only residents of Minneapolis would pay attention to city council races. But ever since a veto-proof majority of the city council started a "defund the police" movement last June, their stand on policing has been the subject of debate throughout the state and even the country. Esme Murphy looks at how "defund the police" supporters could fare in this year's election.

ESME MURPHY: At the DFL endorsing convention this week, three council members who support defunding the police got the DFL endorsement. But three others who are among the most vocal defund supporters-- Jeremiah Ellison, Steve Fletcher, and Jeremy Schroeder did not.

BRIAN HERRON: It's an indicator that maybe they did not listen to their constituency.

ESME MURPHY: Former Minneapolis City Council member, peace activist, and north Minneapolis pastor Brian Herron thinks the "no" endorsements are significant.

BRIAN HERRON: The issue of defunding the police, which a lot of people blame that for the escalation of violence.

ESME MURPHY: Political analyst Professor David Schultz says it's a sign that a red-hot nationwide movement that began in Minneapolis shows signs of fizzling as gun violence has soared here and across the country.

DAVID SCHULTZ: This is a pretty significant blow for people who think that the city is lurching towards a significant defunding-the-police movement.

ESME MURPHY: Council member Steve Fletcher sees it differently. On his Twitter feed, he points out he did get 55% of delegate votes, something he says is still a win. 60% is needed for the endorsement.

Of course, the DFL endorsement doesn't guarantee a win, but it often results in one. And it also does mean a whole lot of money going into a campaign in the form of phone calls, door knocking, and flyers. In Minneapolis, Esme Murphy, WCCO 4 News.

- The Minneapolis DFL convention continues with voting going on right now to endorse a candidate for mayor. The elections, of course, are in November.