Oliver O'Connell, Independent, June 7, 2020
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey faced a chorus of boos and chants of “shame” when he refused to commit to abolishing the city’s police department this weekend.
A peaceful march was led by the Black Visions Collective from Bottineau Park in the city with chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund the police, give the money to the community”, CBS affiliate WCCO reports.
Mayor Frey was seen in the crowd and invited up front to speak and asked directly by a protest organiser if he would commit to defunding the police department.
It was pointed out that his re-election bid in 2021 would hinge on his answer.
The mayor refused to commit and was drowned out by the crowd which erupted in boos and chanted “Go home, Jacob, go home,” and “shame”. Videos from the scene showed the mayor walking solemnly through the crowd with his head bowed.
Whoa. @MayorFrey is asked “Will you commit to defunding police, yes or no?” Speaker says his re-election hinges on the answer. Couldn’t hear answer but the crowd erupts in boos, chanting “GO HOME JACOB.”
Full video: pic.twitter.com/zODcbYGdeS
— David Schuman (@david_schuman) June 6, 2020
Mr Frey has decried the deadly use of force in Mr Floyd’s 25 May arrest as unjustified.
WCCO caught up afterwards with Mr Frey, who told the television station that he favoured “massive structural reform to revise a structurally racist system”.
He added: “I’m not for abolishing the entire police department. I will be honest about that.”