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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

10 Months After George Floyd’s Loss of life, Minneapolis Residents at Conflict Over Policing

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Many officers fear about additional unrest, mentioned Sgt. Sherral Schmidt, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. Officers started leaving the division in droves after the rebellion final summer season, she mentioned, and morale has solely gotten worse. With staffing scarcity, officers have discovered themselves bouncing from name to name, with little alternative to have interaction with the group, she mentioned. Even the members of the group engagement crew have been reassigned to completely different jobs to assist make up for the patrol scarcity, she mentioned.

Officers are anticipated to need to work 12-hour shifts as soon as the trial reaches closing arguments, Sergeant Schmidt added.

“The largest factor for our cops proper now’s they really feel no assist,” she mentioned. “So on daily basis, they arrive in and it’s like, ‘Oh, what are we going to be scrutinized for at this time?’”

Some longtime civil rights activists have been crucial of the police, however they’ve additionally criticized the best way that supporters of the defund motion have tried to impact change. Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights lawyer, mentioned that whereas she helps some assets going to social providers, the defund motion is nothing greater than “catchy slogans and catchphrases.” She mentioned that final summer season she warned Jeremiah Ellison, a Metropolis Council member supporting efforts to dismantle the Police Division, that it might result in solely chaos.

“You’re going to show Minneapolis into the wild, Wild West,” she recalled telling him.

However Mr. Ellison mentioned the uptick in violence within the metropolis started lengthy earlier than any cash was redirected from the police, and he credited council members for investing in alternate options to policing.

“To do what we’ve finished in 10 months,” he mentioned, “so far as metropolis authorities is worried, that’s form of transferring at mild pace.”

In June, 9 council members, a veto-proof majority, stood on a stage in a park behind massive block letters that learn, “Defund Police,” and pledged to dismantle the Police Division.

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