Minneapolis’ Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey was booed out of a protest on Saturday after reportedly refusing to back far-left calls to defund the Minneapolis Police Department — a week after riots and looting tore through the city in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody.
“Go home Jacob, go home,” the demonstrators yelled at the mayor, as others booed and chanted “Shame, shame, shame.”
The angry reaction from the crowd came after Frey said he did not back calls to defund the city’s police force. He is seen walking away slowly as one protester gives him the middle finger and at least one object was thrown at him.
Other video showed Frey being interrogated by protest leaders about whether he would support abolishing or defunding the police. He says he has “been coming to grips with my own brokenness in this situation” and promises to revamp “a systemic racist system.” He says the “police union needs to be put in its place” and police practices reworked.
But as protesters grow agitated at his answer, the unidentified leader demands a “yes or no” answer, saying: “We don’t want no more police.”
“I do not support the full abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Frey says.
“Alright, then get the f— out of here,” the leader yells at him. “Go.”
The protest was part of a number of demonstrations across the country in response to the death of Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd died after a police officer was seen kneeling into his neck. Floyd’s death has sparked protests and riots across the country in response to what activists claim is the latest in a series of police brutality incidents against black Americans.
As the protests have roiled the country and sparked a fresh debate on racism and police brutality, a number of far-left groups and Democratic politicians have called for either the defunding or the entire abolition of police departments.
Several members of the Minneapolis City Council this week have expressed support for a move to “dismantle” the police department and replace it with “a transformative new model for public safety.”
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” Jeremiah Ellison, the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and a representative of the city’s Ward 5, tweeted. “And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”
Frey, like many officials in cities, has tried to walk a fine line between supporting the protests against brutality, and condemning the violence and looting that has wreaked havoc in Minneapolis in the last week. President Trump has criticized Frey as “far-left” and “weak” in his response to the protests.
But he appears to have become the latest Democratic mayor to have upset protesters by not moving swiftly enough to agree to their demands.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had “Black Lives Matter” painted on a city block near the White House, got slammed by BLM’s District of Columbia chapter for not agreeing to gut the police department budget.
“This is a performative distraction from real policy changes,” the chapter tweeted. “Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands.”
“Black Lives Matter means defund the police,” it said.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.