The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously voted to immediately reform the city’s beleaguered police department, including banning chokeholds, but opted against dismantling the department entirely.
All 12 members of the council agreed to make “quick changes,” including the mandating officers immediately speak up if they see an unauthorized use of force by another officer.
Ultimately, a consent decree from the courts will be required to mandate the changes.
On Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council called for the meeting with several members expressing the need to “dismantle” the police department and replace it with “a transformative new model for public safety.”
“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together. We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due,” said Jeremiah Ellison, the son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and a member of the city council.
Lisa Benda, city council president, had echoed Mr. Ellison’s sentiments.
“Yes,’ she tweeted. “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety.”
In the end, the city council opted for less extreme reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Mr. Floyd, a black man, was seen on a cellphone video pleading with former officers, telling them that he could not breathe as ex-officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck.
Reforms approved Friday required any officer, regardless of rank, to immediately report by radio or cellphone any use of excessive force, including the use of a neck restraint or chokehold by another officer.
Officers must intervene either physically or verbally if they witness excessive force. If they don’t, they will face the same consequences as the officer who used the excessive force.
In addition, officers would require authorization from a top-level police official to use tear gas, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades or any other crowd-control agents.
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Most UN Security Council members oppose US bid for Iran sanctions |NationalTribune.com
The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, with 13 countries on the 15-member United Nations Security Council expressing their opposition and arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago. In…
The United States was further isolated on Friday over its bid to reimpose international sanctions on Iran, with 13 countries on the 15-member United Nations Security Council expressing their opposition and arguing that Washington’s move is void given it is using a process agreed under a nuclear deal that it quit two years ago.
In the 24 hours since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he triggered a 30-day countdown to a return of UN sanctions on Iran – including an arms embargo – long-time allies the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Belgium as well as China, Russia, Vietnam, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Indonesia, Estonia and Tunisia have already written letters in opposition, Reuters news agency reported.
The US has accused Iran of breaching a 2015 deal with world powers that aimed to stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. But US President Donald Trump described it as the “worst deal ever” and quit in 2018.
Diplomats said Russia, China and many other countries are unlikely to reimpose the sanctions on Iran. Pompeo again warned Russia and China against that on Friday, threatening US action if they refuse to reimpose the UN measures on Iran.
The Trump administration on Friday dismissed the near universal opposition to its demand and declared that a 30-day countdown for the “snapback” of penalties had begun.
“We don’t need anyone’s permission,” US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook told reporters in a briefing on Friday. “Iran is in violation of its voluntary nuclear commitments. The condition has been met to initiate snapback. And so we have now started to initiate snapback.”
He said that “whether people support or oppose what we’re doing is not material,” adding that “today is day one of the 30-day process.”
The US acted on Thursday after the Security Council resoundingly rejected its bid last week to extend an arms embargo on Iran beyond its expiration in October. Only the Dominican Republic joined Washington in voting yes.
Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi immediately rejected the US move, which he said was “doomed to failure”.
The Dominican Republic has not yet written to the council to state its position on the sanctions snapback push.
Under the process Washington says it has triggered, it appears all UN sanctions should be reimposed at midnight or 00:00 GMT (8pm New York time) on September 19 – just days before Trump is due to address world leaders at the UN General Assembly, the annual meeting that will be largely virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanch said the US move was ‘doomed to failure [Mike Segar/Pool via Reuters]
A 2015 Security Council resolution enshrining the nuclear deal states that if no council member has put forward a draft resolution to extend sanctions relief on Iran within 10 days of a noncompliance complaint, then the body’s president shall do so within the remaining 20 days.
The US would be able to veto this, giving it a cleaner argument that sanctions on Iran have to be reimposed.
However, the 2015 resolution also says the council would “take into account the views of the states involved”. Given the strong opposition, some diplomats say the council president – Indonesia for August and Niger for September – would not have to put up a draft text.
“Faced with this very strong view of a majority of Security Council members that the snapback process has not been triggered, as the presidency they are not bound to introduce the draft resolution,” UN Security Council diplomat told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Pompeo and Hook signalled that Washington expects Indonesia or Niger to put a text to a vote. Another US option is to put forward the draft itself or ask the Dominican Republic to do so.
The US argues that it can trigger the sanctions snapback process because the 2015 Security Council resolution still names it as a nuclear deal participant.
However, in a joint letter to the Security Council on Thursday hours after the US submitted its complaint, the UK, Germany and France said: “Any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be devoid of any legal effect.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres distanced himself from the showdown in the Security Council.
“Security Council members will need to interpret their own resolution,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. “It’s not the Secretary-General.”
UN Security Council rejects US bid to extend Iran arms embargo |NationalTribune.com
The United Nations Security Council has resoundingly rejected a bid by the United States to extend a global arms embargo on Iran. In the Security Council vote on Friday, Washington got support only from the Dominican Republic for its resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes…
The United Nations Security Council has resoundingly rejected a bid by the United States to extend a global arms embargo on Iran.
In the Security Council vote on Friday, Washington got support only from the Dominican Republic for its resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption.
Eleven members on the 15-member body, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, abstained.
Russia and China strongly opposed extending the 13-year ban, which was due to expire on October 18 under a 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers.
Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, announced the defeat of the resolution ahead of a very brief virtual council meeting to reveal the vote.
“The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable,” he said in a statement.
Iran nuclear deal five years on: Uncertainty after US withdrawal (3:10)
Israel and the six Arab Gulf nations who supported the extension “know Iran will spread even greater chaos and destruction if the embargo expires”, Pompeo said, “but the Security Council chose to ignore them”.
Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, said in a statement that the result “once again shows that unilateralism receives no support and bullying will fail”.
Washington could now follow through on a threat to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran using a provision in the nuclear deal, known as snapback, even though US President Donald Trump had unilaterally abandoned the accord in 2018. On Thursday, the US had circulated to council members a six-page memo outlining why Washington remains a participant in the nuclear accord and still has the right to use the snapback provision.
In a statement after the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said Washington has “every right to initiate” the snapback mechanism, and added: “In the coming days, the United States will follow through on that promise to stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.”
Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey, reporting from New York, said the US’s defeat on Friday was not a surprise.
“But it’s a surprise that the US bid failed so miserably,” she said.
“Any party to the nuclear accord could trigger the ‘snapback’ provision if Iran is seen to be in violation of the accord. But Russia and China say the US’s withdrawal from the deal two years ago means it has forfeited its right to do that. Other members of the council would seem to agree,” she said.
“The Europeans have expressed some misgivings about conventional weapons going into Iran. But at the end of the day, they say their concern about a nuclear weapon is paramount.”
Under the deal, Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief and other benefits. Following the US withdrawal and imposition of unilateral sanctions, Tehran has already scaled back compliance with parts of the accord. Diplomats have said triggering the “snapback” provision would put the fragile agreement further at risk because Iran would lose a major incentive for limiting its nuclear activities.
Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi warned Washington against trying to trigger a return of sanctions.
“Imposition of any sanctions or restrictions on Iran by the Security Council will be met severely by Iran and our options are not limited. And the United States and any entity which may assist it or acquiesce in its illegal behavior will bear the full responsibility,” he said in a statement.
Iran fires missile at mock US aircraft carrier during exercise (2:00)
Jarret Blanc, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Al Jazeera the US’s failed bid amounted to a “diplomatic catastrophe”.
“It demonstrates that President Donald Trump and his team are not only bad at the strategy of approaching Iran, they are bad at the day to day tactics of diplomacy. It is unconscionable that the US couldn’t round up more than one vote for a resolution like this.”
But some analysts said they suspect that Washington put forward a hardline draft purposefully, knowing that council members would not be able to accept it.
“The fact is that everybody at the UN believes this [resolution] is just a prelude to a US effort to trigger snapback and sink the Iranian nuclear deal,” Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the International Crisis Group, told AFP news agency.
While voting on the US draft resolution was under way, Russia said its President Vladimir Putin called for a meeting of leaders of the five permanent members of the Security Council along with Germany and Iran to avoid escalation over US attempts to extend the Iranian arms embargo.
In statement released by the Kremlin, Putin said “the question is urgent”, adding that the goal of the videoconference would be “to outline steps to avoid confrontation and exacerbation of the situation in the UN Security Council”.
“If the leaders are fundamentally ready for a conversation, we propose to promptly coordinate the agenda,” Putin said. “The alternative is to further build up tension, to increase the risk of conflict. This development must be avoided.”
Asked if he would take part, Trump told reporters: “I hear there’s something, but I haven’t been told of it yet.”
French President Emmanuel Macron’s office confirmed France’s “availability in principle” to Putin’s proposal. “We have in the past deployed initiatives in the same spirit,” it said.
Jarret Blanc, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, called the US’s failed bid a “diplomatic catastrophe”.
“It demonstrates that President Donald Trump and his team are not only bad at the strategy of approaching Iran, they are bad at the day to day tactics of diplomacy. It is unconscionable that it couldn’t round up more than one vote for a resolution like this.”
Minneapolis City Council members who voted to gut police get taxpayer-funded private security
Three members of the Minneapolis city council are being protected by taxpayer-funded private security even as they support a proposal to abolish the police department. The council members — Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano — have received death threats since George Floyd was killed May 25 in police custody, according to Fox9 in…
Three members of the Minneapolis city council are being protected by taxpayer-funded private security even as they support a proposal to abolish the police department.
The council members — Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano — have received death threats since George Floyd was killed May 25 in police custody, according to Fox9 in Minneapolis, which broke the story.
The security has cost the city $4,500 per day, or $63,000, in the last three weeks, prompting allegations of hypocrisy and a double standard, given the members’ support for eradicating the police department.
“The same clowns that voted to disband the Minneapolis police force have hired private security companies to look after them. They can afford to. You can’t,” tweeted Human Events managing editor Ian Miles Cheong.
Minneapolis Council members get private security after threats https://t.co/ZfCLUcLjvF
— FOX 9 (@FOX9) June 27, 2020
Wait, they didn’t ask for social workers?!? https://t.co/rUX0WF0isT
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) June 27, 2020
No satire can top these clowns… https://t.co/uSewoQ6Huu
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) June 28, 2020
The Minneapolis city council voted unanimously Friday for a proposed ballot measure to eliminate the department and replace it with a “holistic” approach to public safety.
The measure, which would appear on the Nov. 3 ballot if approved by the charter commission, would establish a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention and remove the police as a charter department.
The Minneapolis mayor typically receives protection by a police officer, but not the 13 council members.
“My concern is the large number of white nationalist(s) in our city and other threatening communications I’ve been receiving,” Ms. Jenkins told Fox9 in an email.
The private security is intended to be temporary until a permanent protection solution can be approved.
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