mayor frey
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Minneapolis mayor ejected from George Floyd protest after he shuns call to ‘defund police’
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, got the opposite of a red-carpet welcome when he turned up at a protest against police brutality in his own city, with the crowd chanting "resign" and "shame," forcing him to flee.

Frey attempted to join protesters who took to Minneapolis streets on Saturday afternoon for yet another rally against racial discrimination and police brutality. Similar protests have swept US states after the May 25 death of George Floyd. A Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the African-American man's neck for almost nine minutes.

When he showed up to the rally, just outside the mayor's residence, Frey was given the floor by the organizers and addressed the crowd.

"I've been coming to grips with my own brokenness in this situation, my own failures, my own shortcomings," the mayor said. He added that he believes there is a pressing need for a "deep-seated structural reform" in the way police operate.

At first, the liberal mayor's words about responsibility for the government's failure to eradicate racial bias within the police appeared to have struck a chord with the demonstrators.

However, when pressed by a female protester on stage if he "commits to the defunding of the Minneapolis police department," Frey froze for a couple of moments before eventually saying that he does not support the concept, championed by one of the groups behind the rally. This prompted the crowd to erupt in loud boos and chants "Go home, Jacob, go home."

Other videos from the scene show demonstrators chanting "shame" and "resign" as Frey is forced to retreat, and one protester can be seen throwing an object towards the mayor.

Frey, who is up for re-election next year, has previously been called out for kneeling and sobbing over the casket at Floyd's funeral for a full minute, as the man was being laid to rest. Critics accused him of a disingenuous attempt to win favor with protesters.