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Minneapolis city council members spend $63,000 of taxpayer money on private security details

Minneapolis city council members spend $63,000 of taxpayer money on private security details after receiving death threats from ‘white nationalists’ for voting to abolish the police department

  • A city spokesperson said the private security details were ordered for council members Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano
  • The security has come at the taxpayer’s expense, costing $63,000 over the last three weeks – or $4,300 per day
  • News of the arrangement surfaced Friday, the same day the council voted 12-0 to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department
  • The new proposal would eliminate the existing police department and instead create a ‘department of community safety and violence prevention’
  • While welcomed by those calling for the department to be ‘defunded’, the councilmembers say they’ve received death threats from ‘white nationalists’ 
  • The security detail is temporarily being provided by two firms, Aegis and BelCom as an interim fix until other security solutions can be established 
  • The security expense does not need to be approved by the city council unless it surpasses $175,000 and a spokesperson said that sum likely won’t be reached

Three members of the Minneapolis City Council have been provided with a private security detail after receiving death threats for supporting proposals to defend the city’s police department in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

A city spokesperson said the private security details ordered for council members Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano have cost taxpayers $63,000 over the past three weeks – a rate of $4,300 per day.

News of the arrangement surfaced Friday, the same day the council voted 12-0 to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department, initiating steps toward establishing ‘peace officers’ and a new ‘holistic’ approach to public safety.

The police force, which is largely white, has failed to regain the city’s trust after the death of Floyd. The new proposal would eliminate the existing police department and instead create a ‘department of community safety and violence prevention’.

While the measures have been welcomed by those protesting in the city’s streets and calling for the department to be ‘defunded’, many of the council members said they have received death threats from ‘white nationalists’ for publicly backing the proposal.

Three members of the Minneapolis City Council have been provided with a private security detail after receiving death threats for supporting proposals to defend the city’s police department in the wake of George Floyd’s killing (Councilmember Andrea Jenkins shown at a protest with Rev. Al Sharpton)

Phillipe Cunningham

Alondra Cano

Phillipe Cunningham (left) and Alondra Cano (right) have also been provided security, costing taxpayers $63,000 over the past three weeks – a rate of $4,300 per day

The police killing of George Floyd has sparked nationwide unrest and protests calling for police reform and condemning systemic racism

The police killing of George Floyd has sparked nationwide unrest and protests calling for police reform and condemning systemic racism 

Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham declined to discuss the security measures when asked by Fox 9.

‘I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have protecting me from those threats,’ Cunningham wrote in a text message, adding that the security is temporary.

Cano also decline to provide further details about the threats levelled against her or the extent of her security. 

Meanwhile, Councilmember Andrea Jenkins said she has been asking for security since she was sworn in back in 2018. Jenkins said the latest threats have come in the form of emails, letters and social media posts.

‘My concern is the large number of white nationalist[s] in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,’ she told the network.

The security detail is being provided by two firms, Aegis and BelCom as an interim fix until other security solutions can be established

When asked why MPD are not providing security to the councilmembers, a city spokesperson said the department’s resources are needed elsewhere in the community. The hourly cost of private security is similar to the cost for a police officer, the spokesperson added

While the measures have been welcomed by those protesting in the city’s streets and calling for the department to be ‘defunded’, many of the council members said they have received death threats from ‘white nationalists’ for publicly backing the proposal.

While the measures have been welcomed by those protesting in the city’s streets and calling for the department to be ‘defunded’, many of the council members said they have received death threats from ‘white nationalists’ for publicly backing the proposal.

Alondra Cano (pictured speaking during the 'Path Forward' meeting in Minneapolis on June 7) declined to speak about the nature of the threats levelled against her

Alondra Cano (pictured speaking during the ‘Path Forward’ meeting in Minneapolis on June 7) declined to speak about the nature of the threats levelled against her

The Minneapolis Police Department, which would traditionally provide security in this scenario, told Fox 9 it doesn’t have any records of recent threats against the three council members, however conceded that the complaints have been filed confidentially.

Jenkins said she hadn’t reported the threats to the MPD because she has been preoccupied with focusing her efforts on the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic and the ‘global uprising’ sparked by the Memorial Day death of Floyd.

Jenkins disclosed that the threats have attacked her ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality.

The security expense does not need to be approved by the city council unless it surpasses $175,000. A spokesperson for the city told Fox 9 that the temporary security costs are not anticipated to rise that high.

It is unclear who authorized the expenditures. City Coordinator Mark Ruff and City Council President Lisa Bender have not yet commented on the matter.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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