Minneapolis City Council Member Claims Speaking on Stage With Huge ‘DEFUND POLICE’ Sign Not Indicative of Support for Defunding Police

Minneapolis City Council member of the 4th Ward, Phillipe Cunningham is up for re-election this November. Cunningham is actively trying to distance himself from “Defund the Police”.

On June 7th of 2020, Cunningham and many other City Council members spoke on stage, which displayed the words DEFUND POLICE. Cunningham recently denied knowing anything about the words in front of the stage saying he “got got” in a Zoom video.

Alpha News shared a video of Cunningham, disputing his knowledge of the words in a recent zoom video contrasted with his speech from June 7th of 2020.

In the speech from 2020, Cunningham states that the people of the 4th ward can keep themselves safe and that the Minneapolis Police were nowhere to be found when “buildings were being broken and burned by white supremacists and extremists”.

Two days later Cunningham interviewed with CBC News. The reporter asks Cunningham, “So let’s talk about a bit, yourself and other members of council are moving forward with. You’re one of nine, and please do correct me if I’m wrong, city council members who have pledged to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department. Can you just explain for our viewers is that as simple as it sounds or what does that encompass?”

Cunningham doesn’t dispute anything that the reporter said. Instead, He goes on to say “they” wanted to start the conversation, “to actively move towards a city without police“.

It seems a few months later Cunningham began to backpedal on the vision of a city with no police. According to a Daily Mail article from December of 2020 Cunningham was claiming that defunding the police was not part of the plan. “City council members in Minneapolis appear to be backpedaling after slashing some $8 million from the city’s police budget, claiming that ‘Defund the Police’ was never their ‘framework.’

In June, Minneapolis city council members Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham appeared with seven colleagues on a stage bearing a huge sign reading ‘Defund Police’ during a protest in Powderhorn Park.

Fletcher and Cunningham had originally called for much deeper cuts to the department budget, including eliminating 183 police officers from the department.

Mayor Jacob Frey, who had initially supported the call to slash police funding, balked at the proposal as violent crime soared in the city, and threatened to veto any proposal that saw a reduction in the number of sworn officers.

Compared to last year, murders are up 90 percent so far this in Minneapolis, according to MPD data.

Being up for election this November, and with the spike in crime in Minneapolis, after cutting money from the police department, it seems Cunnigham is trying to change the facts, and the narrative he seemed to fully support in the summer of 2020. The November election will be telling for the City of Minneapolis.