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Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson mandated local leaders employ 730 sworn officers by June 30, 2022, after it was found that the projected number of police officers for June 1, 2022, 669, was in violation of the city's charter, which stipulates the area must have 0.0017 licensed peace officers per resident.
Mayor Jacob Frey and the city council were ordered to "take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force."
In August 2020, residents Cathy Spann, Sondra Samuels, Don Samuels, Audua Pugh, Jonathan Lundberg, Aimee Lundberg, Georgianna Yantos, and Juliee Oden sued city authorities over rising crime following the death of George Floyd.
"It is undisputed that: the crime rate in Minneapolis has increased since the killing of Floyd, one or more Petitioners have suffered injuries from that increase in crime, Ms. Lundberg has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the Court previously found that that the Petitioners have the standing to bring this mandamus action," Anderson wrote Thursday.
The Minneapolis Police Department had roughly 740 officers with 66 on leave in some capacity during the summer of 2020. At the time, the eight residents claimed a mass "exodus" of law enforcement in the area resulted in unprecedented violent crime.
“Every night in the Jordan neighborhood, on any given block from Emerson to Lowry, you hear gunshots every night,” Span said when announcing the lawsuit.
“What do we do? Who do we call if the city council says we’re going to dismantle and defund your police department?" she asked.
In late January, the Minneapolis City Council moved to abolish its police department for the second time following the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, on May 25, 2020. Three officials called for the end of the police force to create a Department of Public Safety, which was dubbed an initiative "beyond law enforcement."
"Minneapolis residents are imagining a comprehensive public safety approach that is more effective and more reflective of our values, and they are calling on the city to act," councilman Steve Fletcher said of the plan that he spearheaded in concert with members Jeremy Schroeder and Phillipe Cunningham. "This charter amendment creates a structure that supports that vision and allows our city to innovate."
In May, the petition was one step closer to going before voters in November after residents delivered the required 20,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. The Yes 4 Minneapolis coalition said the proposal made it through necessary hurdles to go before voters in November, according to its webpage.
The city of Minneapolis did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.
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Original Author: Jake Dima