In a statement, per the Associated Press, Mayor Jacob Frey said the move represented a defining moment for the city.
“We all share a deep and abiding reverence for the role our local government plays in service of the people of our city,” Frey said early Thursday. “And today, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the future in Minneapolis.”
While the move does indeed cut the police budget, it notably keeps Frey’s targeted police staffing levels for sworn officers intact. Previously, Frey had expressed intentions of vetoing the budget if the council had kept in a plan to cap staffing.
Minneapolis City Council member Steve Fletcher, who was a co-author of the proposal the initial proposal of lowering the staffing cap, called the move a “compromise” but also expressed optimism about next steps.
“Tonight the City Council passed a budget that represents a compromise, and also a big step forward into a more compassionate and effective public safety future,” Fletcher, who noted that the City Council “cannot afford to remain stuck in the past,” said.
The nearly $8 million in question will be redirected from the $179 million police budget and put toward other areas including mental health, “violence prevention programs,” and more.
In May, 46-year-old George Floyd died after white Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin was ultimately fired from the department and charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. Those charges were upheld by a judge in Minnesota in October.