Supreme Court sides with Minneapolis residents suing over depleted police force, minimum 731 officers required

Posted 3 days ago


The Minnesota Supreme Court delivered a win Monday for a group of Minneapolis residents who have been suing over an influx of crime into their neighborhood following the defund police movement, ruling the city is not hiring the approximately 731 police officers required under its charter.

The nine-page order, issued Monday by Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea, stems from a lawsuit brought by a group of eight North Side residents who sued Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council for not fulfilling their obligation to fund and employ 0.0017 sworn police officers per Minneapolis resident.

Based on the 2020 census, at least 731 officers should be on the force based on the city’s population.

The ruling says the City Council has followed through by allocating funding in the 2021 budget for 770 sworn officers – dozens more than required by the city charter.

Yet, the number of officers on the force still sits well below the 731 threshold.

As of late May, the Minneapolis Police Department had just 621 officers on the payroll, including 39 on continuous leave of two weeks or longer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The Minneapolis Police Department has seen on exodus of more than 300 officers since the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and the riots and anti-police protests that followed. Though Minneapolis voters last November rejected a proposal that would axe the police department and establish a new public safety agency, the force has struggled to recruit new officers willing to take the job.

"This is a huge victory for our clients and the residents of Minneapolis," James Dickey, the plaintiffs' attorney, told FOX 9 Minneapolis. "MPD is under the required amount by at least 100 officers, and we look forward to seeing the evidence of what the mayor and City Council have done to change that."

A lower court previously ruled... (Read more)