New Minneapolis City Council member ‘fully supports’ effort to replace police department

"I fully support the efforts to re-imagine a new, different and better way to serve the citizens of Minneapolis."

Image from Osman's Facebook campaign page
Image from Osman's Facebook campaign page

Jamal Osman, a DFL Party candidate, has been declared the victor of Minneapolis’s Ward Six City Council seat, which has been vacant since April. 

Osman rose to the top against 10 other candidates running for the Ward Six seat, which covers one of the most diverse areas of Minneapolis. Osman campaigned on police reform, combating opioid use, and increasing access to affordable housing and mental-health services. The seat has been empty ever since the previous holder was appointed to Minneapolis’s Public Housing Authority, and will be filled by Osman on August 28.

“Thank you to the voters of Ward 6 for electing me as your Council Member! I am excited to get to work for our community at City Hall,” said Jamal on Twitter. “Thank you also to the other candidates. I learned from each of you during this campaign and look forward to working with you to make our community stronger.”

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender congratulated Osman on Twitter.

One of Osman’s priorities is to “fundamentally” re-imagine the Minneapolis Police Department. He has promoted redirecting funds from the police to mental-health services. Believing officers are ill-equipped to deal with some situations, he suggests an increase in “crisis counselors as first responders.”

“For too long, the Minneapolis Police Department has operated as an organization that lacks community oversight and direction, as well one that is often openly hostile towards people of color within our community,” states Osman’s campaign website“I fully support the efforts to re-imagine a new, different and better way to serve the citizens of Minneapolis.”

His website claims that practices like “stop-and-frisk and arrests for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, marijuana possession, and consuming alcohol on streets all are racist practices that are taught to police officers as high priority enforcement.”

Osman, born in Somalia, emigrated from Kenya at 14, where he had spent time as a refugee in a camp and lived in affordable housing in Minnesota. Now he is a strong promoter of affordable housing, which he believes is a “basic human right.”