The Trump administration has denied a request from Minnesota’s governor for millions of dollars in aid to rebuild parts of Minneapolis following the George Floyd protests and riots several weeks ago.
A spokesperson for Gov. Tim Walz’s office confirmed on July 10 that the funding wasn’t approved.
“The Governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support,” Teddy Tschann, the spokesperson, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other news outlets. “As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through.”
Walz, a Democrat, said that up to $500 million in damage to Minneapolis was wrought during the unrest and asked Trump to declare the city a “major disaster” area following rampant incidents of arson, looting, and riots in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
The governor said in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that what happened in Minneapolis was the second-most-destructive civil unrest incident in U.S. history, after the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Walz said that about 1,500 businesses across the Twin Cities area were damaged due to vandalism, arson, and looting, with the “heaviest damage” occurring in “major corridors of commerce and public accommodation,” such as on Lake Street in Minneapolis.
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) on July 9 also sent a letter to President Donald Trump in response to Walz’s request on July 9 and asked for a “thorough and concurrent review” of the response, so “every governor, mayor, and local official can learn from our experiences.”
“If the federal government is expected to assist in the clean-up of these unfortunate weeks, it has an obligation to every American—prior to the release of funding—to fully understand the events which allowed for this level of destruction to occur and ensure it never happens again,” he said.
The Minneapolis City Council, in the wake of the unrest, passed a measure 12–0 to work toward dismantling and replacing its police department.
“The City Council voted today to advance a proposed ballot measure that would ask Minneapolis voters to amend the City Charter to create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention and remove the Police Department as a charter department,” the City of Minneapolis wrote in a statement on June 26.
But black community members issued a plea to City Council members last week, saying that there is an ongoing crime wave occurring across Minneapolis in the wake of calls to abolish or defund police departments.
“When the City Council start talking about [abolishing] and dismantling law enforcement, it’s destroying, it’s destroying our community right now,” said Al Flowers, a community activist, according to FOX9.
Alicia Smith, executive director of the Corcoran Neighborhood, said, “With these calls to abolish the police and no real substantive plan to follow, those words have led some folks in our communities to believe that they have a sort of open season on their enemies.”
The Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, has said he doesn’t want the police department to be dismantled.