While protests on Saturday were mostly peaceful, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was met with a chorus of boos after telling a group of demonstrators he did not support abolishing the city police department.
Multiple videos on social media show the confrontation, which took place when protesters marched to Frey’s home and called for him to come out, according to CNN affiliate WCCO-TV. Protesters asked Frey directly if he supported defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.
When Frey replied that he did not, the crowd booed him as he walked away. They also chanted “Go home, Jacob, go home” and “shame,” according to video posted to Twitter.
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Frey said the mayor is “unwavering in his commitment to working with Chief (Medaria) Arradondo toward deep structural reforms and uprooting systemic racism. He does not support abolishing the police department.”
Frey told WCCO that he supports “massive structural reform” to revise a racist system and addressing “inherent inequities.”
The confrontation between Frey and the protesters comes as the thousands of people across the nation are calling for police reform and protesting the deaths of unarmed African Americans, sometimes by law enforcement. The most recent deaths include George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
The incident also comes one day after Frey signed a temporary restraining order with the state to enforce immediate policing reforms like banning the use of chokeholds and requiring the police chief to authorize use of all crowd control weapons, WCCO reported.