DETROIT – A former Detroit police chief who has worked closely with the Minneapolis Police Department for years said that department “has some serious problems."
“Defund the police” has become a rallying cry for people who feel the system can’t be reformed. On Sunday, the Minneapolis City Council went a step further, pledging to disband its police department.
Ike McKinnon, a well-known former Detroit police chief, has had a unique look inside the Minneapolis Police Department for a couple of years as a consultant.
“If you’ve been there for two years, what’s your sense of that police department?” Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley asked.
“The police department has some serious problems," McKinnon said.
McKinnon has been working directly with the department for the past two years, and he saw what he calls a “frightening problem.”
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“You picked up on that?” Shawn asked.
“There are serious problems with the minority community,” McKinnon said.
McKinnon was involved in a project started by a Detroiter that pairs an officer with one child from each Minneapolis neighborhood to help officers connect with the community.
He said the community loves it and many officers love it, but the department wasn’t getting it.
“People don’t understand there are serious problems,” McKinnon said. “It is frightening.”
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The difference in Detroit is that officers recognized there was a problem with the community and put in the hard work for years to build bridges, McKinnon said.
“When you get people to trust you, that’s the biggest thing,” McKinnon said.