Several members of the Minneapolis City Council who have received death threats after their calls to remove the police after George Floyd’s death have received private security details, which reportedly cost the city $ 4,500 per day in taxpayer dollars.
According to information obtained by Fox News, the city has spent $ 63,000 on private security in the past three weeks.
“The names of the people who get security details are not public,” a city spokesman told Fox News on Saturday.
The names of three council members who are receiving private security details have already been released, two of whom were interviewed with local affiliate Fox 9 on Friday. The spokesman did not respond to Fox News questions about whether or not additional council members received security details.
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The threats reportedly came after council members were vocal in their calls to de-finance the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a proposal to remove the city police department on Friday, taking steps to establish a new “holistic” approach to public safety.
The largely white police force has struggled to regain the city’s trust after George Floyd’s death. The new proposal would eliminate the existing police department and instead create “a community safety and violence prevention department, which will be responsible for public safety services prioritizing a holistic approach to public health.”
A board member told Fox 9: “I am not comfortable discussing publicly the death threats against me or the level of security I currently have in protecting myself from those threats.”
They noted that the security detail was temporary.
But another council member told the outlet that they have been concerned about security since they took office.
“My concern is the large number of white nationalists[s] in our city and other threatening communications that I’ve been receiving, “they said.
None of the council members responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
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Fox News was unable to contact the Minneapolis Police Department, which would traditionally provide security in this scenario, but told Fox 9 that the MPD has no record of recent threats against the three council members, adding that the search was possible. It could have been filed confidentially.
“Council members have informed staff of numerous threats to themselves,” the city told Fox News on Saturday.
One of the council members who spoke to Fox 9 said he did not alert to threats to the MPD because they had been consumed in dealing with the “global pandemic and global uprising” after Floyd’s death. But they noted that the threats had been far-reaching, attacking their ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality.
Fox News was unable to contact Minneapolis City Hall to address security threats against council members. But a city spokesperson told Fox 9 that MPD resources were needed in other parts of the community. They also said that the cost of private security details was more or less the same to the taxpayer as MPD’s security services.
Two companies, Aegis and BelCom, provided private security as a workaround until other security solutions can be established.
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“This security service was intended to be temporary and [a] bridge to other security measures implemented by council members themselves, “a city spokesman told Fox News.
Security expenses do not need approval from the city council unless the amount exceeds $ 175,000. A city spokesperson told Fox 9 that temporary security costs are not anticipated to approach that threshold.