The Minneapolis reckoning: race, violence, and the politics of policing in America

Research output: Book/ReportBook


"Since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter Movement in 2014, police brutality, police violence, and police reform have emerged as central public policy concerns, and throughout that time, Minneapolis has been at the center of these conversations, both as a leader in progressive police reform and as a demonstration of the failure of those reforms. From solidarity protests with Ferguson in 2014, to an occupation of a police precinct following the killing of Jamar Clark in 2015, protests following the death of Justine Damond (Ruszczyk) in 2017, and the uprising following George Floyd's murder in 2020, activists in Minneapolis have long demanded that the city take measures to make Black Lives Matter. In 2020, these demands shifted from police reform and accountability toward police defunding and abolition, culminating in a deeply contested ballot initiative to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety-a debate that has come to symbolize the rift in opinion about the role of policing that continues to divide the nation. The Minneapolis Reckoning uses Minneapolis as a case study to understand policing, police violence, and anti-police-violence activism in the twenty-first century. Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2017 and 2021, as well as detailed historical analyses of transformations in the Minneapolis Police Department from the Great Migration to the present, Michelle Phelps tells the complex story of elected officials, elite interests, activist organizers, and residents struggling to gain power over the police. Tracing the ways in which movements pushing for the transformation of policing have crashed into the local politics of race, inequality, and violence, both in the years leading up to the murder of George Floyd and in its aftermath, Phelps offers revealing lessons about the political struggle over policing and the power of social movements for racial justice to create change"
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationPrinceton
PublisherPrinceton University Press
Edition1st book.
ISBN (Print)0691246009, 9780691245980, 9780691246000
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Includes bibliographical references and index


  • POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
  • Police brutality
  • Police administration
  • Brutalités policières
  • SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination
  • Mouvement Black Lives Matter
  • Police
  • Black lives matter movement


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