MPLS Bike Wrath’s Twitter and Facebook has shifted topics towards the devastation that was heaped upon our city by the Minneapolis Police Department, its murder of George Floyd, and the more than a century of its abuses before that. We want to clarify why that’s happened and why we are now advocating for the abolition of the MPD.
This comes as a surprise to many, and may appear to be a reversal on one of our long standing principles:
that vulnerable road users have a reasonable expectation of receiving justice when they are the victims of car violence.
We assure you this is still a core principle of MPLS Bike Wrath, but now is not the time for that to be the focus of our work or platform.
We have, far too late and to our deep regret, overcome a failure of imagination. Before the murder of George Floyd, we didn’t imagine a Minneapolis without the MPD. We judged, incorrectly, that the political will to eliminate it could not and would not exist in the foreseeable future.
Because of this failure of imagination, our former position was one of reform, rather than abolition. Our opinion on traffic law enforcement was:
We should have seen before that these measures would have been woefully insufficient to end the harms perpetrated by the MPD. Because we did not, our speech on car violence justice has done real harm to the efforts of those pushing to abolish the MPD. For this we are sorry, and we are listening and considering how best to address that harm.
We remain convinced of three facts:
We don’t have any good solutions to these problems. We haven’t heard any good solutions to them, either. But for now we’re going to listen, ask questions, and consider at great length before we use our voices to advocate for any specific answers again.
Of one thing we are thoroughly convinced: any solutions must be achieved through entities and means other than police forces that have been empowered to arrest, use force, and kill.
We look forward to the work ahead.