Minneapolis park board cuts ties with Minneapolis Police

by Colleen O'Connor Toberman
Illustration of George Floyd by Andrés Guzman.

We continue to mourn and seek justice for the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. 

FMR is deeply committed to vibrant parks and other public spaces that are safe and welcoming to all. But for many people, and particularly for communities of color, biased or aggressive policing makes public spaces just the opposite (our full statement).

In recognition of our commitment to our treasured neighbors and public places, and of our collective failure to achieve this vision, we applaud the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's recent decisions to reduce its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department (our letter of support).

The Minneapolis park board will no longer contract with Minneapolis Police to provide extra staffing at official park events. Park police will no longer respond as backup support for the Minneapolis Police Department outside of critical public emergencies. And park police uniforms will be redesigned to look different from city police uniforms, creating a better visual distinction between the two agencies. Additional reforms are being explored.

These are only the first steps to create truly safe public spaces. We look forward to working alongside community members, park board leaders and staff, and other agencies to continue this critical and urgent work.

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