The Minneapolis Police Department is in dire straights as it prepares for possible violence during the trial of one of its former officers.
“Minneapolis has about 200 fewer police officers available to work as the city tries to rebound from a violent year and prepare for more potential unrest,” The Star-Tribune reported. “In the short term, the city is seeking aid from other law enforcement agencies as it plans for the March trial for former Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with killing George Floyd.”
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is reportedly asking the City Council for $6.4 million to hire new police officers, if the city can find them.
Just months after riots over Floyd’s death, fewer officers than ever in recent history are showing up for work.
According to the report, 24 officers cashed in on early retirement benefits in the month of January alone. More than 150 officers have taken an “extended leave.” The department is not optimistic that those officers will return to work.
The police department will have assistance from the National Guard during Chauvin’s trial, who is accused of killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck during an arrest.
Floyd’s death not only sparked nationwide riots, which were explained away by the national press, but also sparked a movement among progressive Democrats to “defund the police.”
Minnesota’s own Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), was a ringleader of that movement, and viciously targeted the Minneapolis Police Department.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Omar defended the idea of “dismantling” of the Minneapolis Police Department, calling it “rotten to the root.” She said:
A new way forward can’t be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that’s led by a chief who’s suited for racism, if we have a department that hasn’t solved homicide — half of the homicides in Minneapolis police department go unsolved. There have been cases where they’ve destroyed rape kits. And so you can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root. What you can do is rebuild. And so this is our opportunity, as a city, to come together, have the conversation of what public safety looks like, who enforces the most dangerous crimes that take place in our community.
Because the department is short-staffed, it has been forced to triage certain 911 calls, demonstrably making Minneapolis a less safe city.
“Faced with the shortage, Arradondo reorganized the department last year to focus primarily on responding to 911 calls as violent crimes such as homicides, shootings and robberies escalated,” The Star-Tribune said.
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