Detroit’s Former Police Chief On Minneapolis and Calls to Defund Police

Protest movements sweeping across the country have focused their attention on potential alternatives to modern policing.

Detroit Police vehicle

The Minneapolis City Council has voted to defund and dismantle the city’s police department.

“There’s a lack of humanization of people. And that leads to a lack of trust and a lack of understanding.” —Ike McKinnon, former Detroit Police Chief

That vote comes in the wake of mass protest in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of one of the city’s officers. #DefundPolice is becoming more common across the country, provoking conversations around the state of policing in American communities.

Listen: Former Detroit Police Chief on calls to defund police, militarization and the role of unions in policing. 


Ike McKinnon, retired deputy Mayor of Detroit and former Detroit Police Chief, has worked with the Minneapolis Police Department for years through a mentorship program. He says the city’s police department has some very serious problems.

“There’s a lack of humanization of people. And that leads to what we’re seeing now — a lack of trust and a lack of understanding within the agency,” says McKinnon of the issues plaguing the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to McKinnon, too many people across the country feel like the police aren’t serving them, leading communities to call for the abolishment of police.

“If we don’t have trust of the law enforcement agencies, we get the the point that we’re at right now with some departments and the threat to shut them down,” says McKinnon. 

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