News and Commentary

Minneapolis Residents Sue City Over Spike In Crime, Demand City Stop Campaign To Defund Police
OPSHOT - A protester throws a fire extinguisher in a burning building during a demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 29, 2020, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes. - Violent protests erupted across the United States late on May 29 over the death of a handcuffed black man in police custody, with murder charges laid against the arresting Minneapolis officer failing to quell seething anger. (Photo by Chandan KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota, shocked by the recent spike in crime, sued the city on Thursday, demanding the Minneapolis City Council abandon its plan to defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department and claiming that the city council has violated the city’s charter by allowing the number of police officers to dwindle.

Following George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minneapolis City Council moved almost immediately to defund and disband the city’s law enforcement divisions and replace them with community-oriented alternatives.

Although members of the council, including its president, were adamant about the move – the president even went so far as to say that protection from crime was a “privilege” – they were stopped by the Minneapolis Charter Commission, which blocked their proposal.

Now residents are saying the City Council’s plan to defund the police department has encouraged crime and, at the same time, left Minneapolis residents unprotected.

“We are a community that is riddled with crime we are under siege,” Cathy Spann, one of the residents who is suing the city told the local CBS affiliate. “You cannot disband and dismantle police departments and leave communities such as this where we face the worst disparities in the nation you cannot leave us with nothing.”

Minneapolis “is 20 homicides ahead of where it was this time last year,” the CBS affiliate notes; it has also, at this point, surpassed the total number of homicides for 2019.

“The lawsuit says that you are in violation of the charter by you defunding the police department you have gone below per capita the number of police officers that are required according to the law and the charter is the law of the city of Minneapolis it’s like our constitution,” Spann said.

Although the Minneapolis City Council has not yet officially disbanded the police department, the residents argue, they’ve made life so difficult for police officers that many are retiring or going on disability.

Indeed, as The Daily Wire reported earlier this year, Minneapolis police are retiring at an “unusually” high rate.

“Morale has sunk to new lows in recent weeks, say department insiders, as officers reported feeling misunderstood and squeezed by all sides: by the state probe; by protesters, who hurled bricks and epithets their way; by city leaders, who surrendered a police station that later burned on national television, and by the media. Numerous officers and protesters were injured the rioting,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said back in June.

The Daily Wire also reported that Minneapolis police officers are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, from their role in quashing the riots that took place immediately following George Floyd’s death.

If the lawsuit resolves in the residents’ favor, the city council will be barred from following through with its plan to defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department, and the mayor will be compelled to ensure citizens’ safety.

The city attorney is looking over the lawsuit, CBS says.