Minneapolis City Council approves site for new police station; old one burned during 2020 protest

Nov 3, 2023, 7:47 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey have agreed on a new location for a police station to replace the one ransacked and set on fire in response to the murder of George Floyd by a city police officer.

The council voted 8-5 Thursday to approve a new Third Precinct station blocks away from the previous location, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The city will spend $14 million to buy an existing building and parking lot and turn it into a new station, which is expected to be complete in a year and a half.

“It’s a big victory for our city, but also for the residents of the Third Precinct, who have been calling out for safety,” Frey said after the vote. “Obviously, we wanted it to be sooner.”

Council members also voted 12-0 to approve a resolution committing the city to ultimately create a “community safety center” on the site. The center is envisioned to host services beyond traditional policing, such as behavior crisis units and mental health services.

That additional commitment helped tip the balance in favor of the new site. There are no specific plans for the facility yet, but it’s expected to cost another $7 million to $8.5 million, the Star Tribune reported.

Council President Andrea Jenkins Jenkins acknowledged the city’s continuing struggle with policing and race.

“Certainly a building didn’t cause the problems we have,” Jenkins said. “It’s the people inside the building. Consequently, this site can’t be the healing. … It will be a beginning step toward moving forward. Opposition is not progress. We have to move forward.”

Opponents said the push for relative speed and thrift was the wrong approach, given the legacy of Floyd’s murder by Derek Chauvin, a Third Precinct police officer.

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Minneapolis City Council approves site for new police station; old one burned during 2020 protest