The taxpayers of Minneapolis will foot a $152,000 bill for security services given to three members of the City Council who received death threats following their calls to defund the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
According to an investigative report by the local Fox 9 news outlet, the three council members, Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9), were granted a security detail shortly after Memorial Day, which cost the city about $4,500 a day and ended on June 29.
Two security firms Aegis and BelCom were reportedly hired because police officials were overwhelmed with security needs following George Floyd’s death in police custody and the demonstrations that ensued for weeks after.
“This security service was intended to be temporary and bridge to other security measures implemented by council members themselves,” a City spokesperson told Fox News.
The City Council does not need to approve any expenses unless they exceed $175,000. The costs were therefore approved by City Coordinator Mark Ruff.
“The contracts are within existing department budget limits,” the spokesperson told Fox News Tuesday. “The contracts will not impact future tax rates,” they added.
The Mayor’s office could not be reached for comment, but a spokesperson for the City said that the cost of the security detail a day, was roughly the same for the taxpayer as Minneapolis Police Department services.
The threats on the council members’ lives were reportedly made after all three members were outspoken about defunding the police.
The largely White police force has had a difficult time in gaining the public’s trust, and a proposal to defund the police and replace the force with “a department of community safety and violence prevention” is being reviewed.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday for members of the community to ask questions or voice their concerns.
According to a Fox 9 news report from earlier this week, 150 Minneapolis police officers are seeking disability for post-traumatic stress following the George Floyd protests.
A total of 25 police officers have quite since the demonstrations and an additional 25 have sought extended leave.