Judge orders Minneapolis to hire more police officers after residents sue

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Minneapolis police secure an intersection along 7th St. during unrest near Nicollet Mall Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis mayor imposed a curfew Wednesday night and requested National Guard help after unrest broke out downtown following what authorities said was misinformation about the death of a Black homicide suspect. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WTVO) — A judge ordered the City of Minneapolis to hire more police officers Thursday after residents sued the city.

The Hennepin County Judge ordered the City to hire 730 officers by June 30th, 2022, after it was found that the projected number of police officers would fall below the number stipulated by the city’s charter.

The judge said that Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council had “failed to perform an official duty clearly imposed by law.”

Eight residents banded together to sue the city, claiming a mass exodus of police officers following the death of George Floyd resulted in a rise in crime.

In January, the Minneapolis City Council approved a proposal to dismantle its police force over widespread criticism of law enforcement. The proposal would have created a Department of Public Safety.

“Every night in the Jordan neighborhood, on any given block from Emerson to Lowry, you hear gunshots every night,” plantiff Cathy Spann 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?”

“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, [one of the Petitioners] 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,” Judge Jamie Anderson wrote in her decision Thursday.

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