On Thursday, July 1, a judge ordered Minneapolis to employ more police officers in a ruling that favored a group of concerned residents who sued the city council and its mayor over a spike in crime in the area.
“Minneapolis is in a crisis,” said the complaint filed by the Upper Midwest Law Center on behalf of eight north Minneapolis residents, citing the soaring numbers of shootings and homicides, alongside the civil unrest that ensued during the violent protests following the death of George Floyd, as reported by FOX 9.
“We have made the emotional appeal,” said Sondra Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member and also one of the eight residents. “We have demonstrated the statistical uptick and now this is the legal action we are exercising because it seems as if the City Council cannot hear us and doesn’t feel what we feel.”
The group was also able to present how the lack of active-duty officers has contributed to the rise of dangerous offenses in the city. According to The Hill, one of the petitioners reviewed that they were diagnosed with PTSD after having their house shot at twice.
Noticing that the city may only retain 649 police by the beginning of 2022, Hennepin County District Judge Jamie L. Anderson ordered the city to ensure at least 730 sworn officers by June 30, 2022. Otherwise, maintain a law enforcement force that makes up to 2% of the overall city population after the 2020 Census is published.
The death of George Floyd has inspired most Minneapolis City Council members to be resolute on police reform measures even amid the exacerbated crime cases.
In December last year, the city’s mayor Jacob Frey agreed to trim $8 million from the police department.
Two months after the death of Floyd, the Minneapolis police department lost 200 police officers out of the roughly 850 members. The heated hostile environment towards the police force was seen to be responsible for the loss of officers, according to Chicago Suntimes.
As reported by CBS Minnesota earlier this year, Minneapolis has seen a 250% increase in gunshot victims, a 22% rise in rape cases, and 50% more robbery.
“We have to have a wholesome community. We need multi-strategy and not a singular approach like the current council is doing, where it’s all about police. Police have to change but we need them desperately,” said Samuels in January.