Future and Alternatives

A drawing featuring children playing on a playground built around the MPD street cameras. It has light, bright colors.
Art by Jared Ingebretson and Nikki Ann

In the first section of this report, we reviewed the corrupt, brutal, and oppressive history of the Minneapolis Police Department. In the second section, we discussed the current landscape of the community-police relationship in Minneapolis. In this final section, we will present our thoughts on some ways we could bring this 150-year-long tragedy to its close and begin a new chapter in the history of Minneapolis.

A group of artists stand in front of the beginnings of a mural on a cloudy day. In the foreground, a sign reads, "We are working to create a government that has never existed. One that actually represents all of the people in our nation. Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, disabled, undocumented, Muslim. This is a country. We deserve a voice. UNREPD."
Photographer: Ryan Stopera

We’ve explored the problems deep in the heart of our police department. The culture of MPD is one where racism and brutality are tacitly allowed, and officers are honor-bound to cover up for one another’s misconduct. Complaints of officer misconduct are dismissed, covered up, and ignored, and even when officers are found guilty of brutality, the city can’t hold them accountable, and many of them continue to work on the force. Community outrage leads to cries for civilian review, diversity training, and body cameras – all of which ultimately fail to address the underlying problems. Meanwhile, the police union has a formidable amount of political power, and they use that power to prevent, limit, and destroy even small attempts at accountability. 150 years of history shows us that police reform is impossible: it’s time to dream bigger. It’s time to dream of police abolition.

We don’t have the resources we need to begin living in a police-free city tomorrow, but we do have what we need to get started. Below, knowing that we don’t have all the answers, we’ll share some ideas about how to use existing programs to begin building out a community safety network that can replace the police.

 

Alternatives

Homelessness

Mental Health Crisis Response

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Drugs

Sex Work

Traffic Stops

Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Property Crime

Responding to Violence