At least seven Minneapolis Police Department officers have recently resigned, with another seven in the process of separating from the department, as officers feel betrayed by city officials and opposed by the public they serve, according to the Star Tribune.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in custody of fired Minneapolis Police officers, the city has entertained proposals to dismantle the department altogether, and officers are subject to high levels of hostility from some residents.
“They don’t feel appreciated,” said former MPD officer Mylan Masson, who is also an expert in the use of force. “Everybody hates the police right now. I mean everybody.”
Some officers have reportedly quit without even going through the formal process, creating additional strain for a department struggling with COVID-19-related budget shortfalls and difficulties in recruitment.
“During this busy and trying time I have heard secondhand information that there have been employees that have advised their supervisors that they separated with the city (or quit) without completing paperwork,” Deputy Chief Henry Halvorson wrote in an e-mail, the Star Tribune reported. “We need to have the process completed to ensure that we know who is continuing to work.”
During the protests and riots following Floyd’s death, Mayor Jacob Frey made the decision to abandon the MPD’s Third Precinct, surrendering it to protesters, who burglarized it and set it on fire. The decision, allegedly made in the interest of officer safety, angered officers who felt the city did not have their backs and was siding with the protesters instead.
Protesters Breach Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct, Set Fires Inside
The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously on June 12 to begin the process of disbanding the Minneapolis Police Department and replacing it with a community-based public safety program. Some council members are working on a plan to amend the city’s charter to remove the requirement that the city fund a minimum number of police officers.