Citing a Lack of Support, Police in Minneapolis Start to Resign

At least 7 officers have left, and more are starting the process
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2020 11:40 AM CDT
Minneapolis Officers Turn In Badges, Citing Lack of Support
Protesters gather outside the offices of the Minneapolis Police and Fire Union on Friday.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Saying they feel battered by protests, a state investigation, the media and city leaders since the killing of George Floyd, at least seven Minneapolis police officers have quit. Another half-dozen are in the process of leaving their jobs, the Star Tribune reports. In their exit interviews, they pointed specifically to a lack of support from police and city leaders. Officials said the departures won't cause any problems in policing the city. "People seek to leave employment for a myriad of reasons," a spokesman told WCCO. "The MPD is no exception." At least 75 officers are eligible to leave anytime now with retirement benefits, while job applicants are at a 25-year low. Officers also left after the killing of Jamar Clark in 2015 and the protests that followed. A federal report said they felt like "they were left to deal with the occupation on their own."

Rep. Ilhan Omar argued Sunday for dismantling the police department and starting over, per the Hill. "You can't really reform a department that is rotten to the root, what you can do is rebuild," the Minnesota Democrat said on CNN's State of the Union. "And so this is our opportunity as a city to come together and have the conversation of what public safety looks like." Another needed step, protesters and city officials have said, is removing Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the police union, per NPR. "The Police Federation is a clear barrier to change," said Lisa Bender, the city council president. "And that is the crux of any short-term changes within our department that they have opposed for years." An activist leader told a rally last week: "I want you to understand that Bob Kroll did not come out of thin air. Bob Kroll was voted in by the people who are supposed to protect us." (More Minneapolis stories.)

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