A group of Minneapolis residents are suing the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey for failing to manage the city’s police force amid a surge in violent crime, Alpha News reported.
The eight residents allege that the recent actions of the City Council and mayor have driven out officers, which the leaders have no plans to replace as the city moves toward plans to defund the police, Alpha News reported.
“Minneapolis is in a crisis. The city faces a violent crime rate that has skyrocketed this year. It is the responsibility of the City Council and the Mayor to make Minneapolis safe. Instead, the City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey have violated their duties to fund, employ and manage a police force as required by the City Charter,” states the lawsuit, which was filed in Hennepin County District Court.
More than 150 Minneapolis police officers began the process to file disability claims in July following the death of George Floyd and subsequent riots and protests. Most officers reported suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mentioned the exhaustion of working long shifts without support from city leadership.
At least 80 officers have retired or quit in recent months, and by the end of July more than 200 had applied for disability. By the end of the year, the number of officers could sink to as little as 500 — far below the required 743 officers — according to Alpa News. Frey reportedly doesn’t plan to replace the officers due to a citywide hiring freeze.
“Rather than work to improve public safety, the City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey are making the city unsafe for its citizens, thus requiring this Court’s intervention,” it says.
“The safety of our families and community require an adequately staffed and deployed police force. The actions of the City Council and Mayor Frey in driving out unprecedented numbers of Minneapolis police officers, and then canceling all hiring of replacements, endangers our community, our residents and our children,” said Cathy Spann, one of the suit’s eight plaintiffs, who are represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center, Alpha News reported.
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