Minnesota State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka blasted Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender Tuesday for her comments earlier this week about dismantling the city’s police department, calling them “off-the-wall.”
During a CNN interview Monday, Bender struggled to answer a question from anchor Alisyn Camerota about what would happen if a person needed help because their home had been broken into.
"I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors," Bender responded. "And I know ... that that comes from a place of privilege. Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done."
Gazelka told “Fox & Friends First” that Bender apprently believed the question of whether to disband the Minneapolis Police Department was "about privilege, which is so off-the-wall."
"It’s about safety,” he continued.
Bender has been one of the most prominent and vocal supporters of the movement to dismantle the city's police force in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd. Last week, she vowed to "dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a transformative new model of public safety." Over the weekend, she joined a veto-proof majority of the council who committed to "dismantle" the law enforcement institution.
“One of the main reasons that police get called out is [for] domestic abuse and you think about those situations, and now no police officer is there, what are you going to say? ‘Please stop,’” Gazelka said on Tuesday. “I mean, that’s not going to work.”
“In the end, if you’re going to stop lawlessness you have to be stronger than them,” he continued. “There has to be a force stronger than them.”
He noted that “the police as a whole are very, very good and very, very important.”
"It’s probably one percent or two percent that aren’t doing the job that they need to do and we have to help them get better or remove them, but you cannot have no police and expect people to feel safe,” Gazelka said.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.