judge orders Minneapolis to add more police officers | New

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A Minneapolis judge sided with residents who sued the city over police numbers, saying the mayor and city council had failed to maintain the sufficient number of officers required by the municipal charter.

Anderson’s ruling, released Thursday, said Mayor Jacob Frey and the understaffed police force council “failed to perform an official duty clearly imposed by law.”

Frey’s office, in a statement, declined to comment on the trial, but said the mayor “will continue to work to increase officer numbers” and support “the recruitment of more community-minded officers.”

As of April 10, there were 743 police officers in the city, including 92 on leave, according to the court order.

The city had predicted it would have 690 sworn officers on the payroll and 46 on long-term leave by June 1, according to the order. But city officials predicted only 669 officers on duty as of June 1, 2022 – and 721 as of January 1, 2023.

City data shows that at the end of May there were 699 sworn officers including 67 on leave, down significantly from the start of January 2019, when there were 910 sworn officers with only 35 on continuous leave .

The City of Minneapolis charter requires at least 0.0017 sworn officers per resident – approximately 730 officers or more if necessary once the 2020 census is released.

“This is a huge victory for the applicants and all residents of Minneapolis, especially those in the most diverse neighborhoods who are bearing the brunt of rising crime rates,” said Doug Seaton, President of Upper Midwest Law Center, in a statement.

The nonprofit law firm, part of Minnesota’s conservative think tank, the Center of the American Experiment, filed the lawsuit last year on behalf of eight white and black residents of high crime neighborhoods.

“We applaud the court’s decision and look forward to swift action from city council and the mayor to fund police and keep all Minneapolitans safe,” Seaton added.

Anderson ordered Frey and the council to “immediately take all necessary steps” to have at least 730 officers sworn in by June 30, 2022.

“If the City is not proactive in anticipating what will be asked of it in the years to come, it will constantly be behind schedule – constantly underperforming and, therefore, understaffed in the police force,” wrote the judge.

The city hopes to replenish the ranks of the police with “two more classes of recruits by the end of this year”, according to the proposal.

Last week, Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Floyd’s death sparked mass protests around the world and a movement across the United States to cut police funding and implement reforms.

“If we are successful (…) in stopping funding and revitalizing the hiring of police officers and increasing their numbers in Minneapolis, we hope that will inspire people across the country to take similar action,” Seaton said. .

“We sincerely hope that others will use all the legal tools at their disposal to challenge this action.”

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CNN’s Priya Krishnakumar and Emma Tucker contributed to this report.



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