AMERICA — The city of Minneapolis has spent $63,000 on private security for three City Council members after receiving death threats, according to information obtained by Fox News.
Minneapolis spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said, “This security service is intended to be temporary and bridge to other security measures implemented by council members themselves.”
The city assigned the members a private security detail, reportedly costing $4,500 each day, after death threats followed the City Council’s unanimous decision to defund and replace the Minneapolis police.
On Friday, June 26, the City Council unanimously voted to advance a proposal eliminating the requirement to have a police force from the city’s charter. The police force would be replaced with a department of community safety and violence prevention. The department would be responsible for, “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach.”
If voters approve the proposal this fall, the replacement of the police force would begin May 1, 2021.
While the names of all three council members have not been officially released, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has confirmed the members receiving security are Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins and Council Members Alondra Cano and Phillipe Cunningham.
Cunningham wrote on Twitter, “I will confirm I have received numerous death threats since I was campaigning for either being transgender or outspoken about police accountability and systems change.”
He later tweeted, “Security was offered to me by the City, and I accepted it because I need to keep my family safe from the very real threats against me.”
Cunningham also tweeted comparing the security detail to the Mayor’s, who has “a security detail 365 days/year, paid for out of the same pool of money that is paying for my temporary security.”
The security is being provided by security agencies Aegis and Belcom. Both security agencies provide licensed and armed security officers according to McKenzie.
The Minneapolis Police Department told Fox 9 they have no records of recent threats, but added that it is possible for the threat to have been filed confidentially.
Cunningham tweeted in response, “I will also add that MPD claimed to have not known about the threats or the reports, which is incorrect.”
Security expenses in Minneapolis under $175,000 do not need council approval. It is not expected for the private security expenses to surpass this threshold.