Minneapolis Police Feel Helpless, Leaving Department In Droves

A year later, Minneapolis is still feeling the strain of George Floyd's death. From the citizens who live and work in the city to the police officers trying to keep everyone safe, the tumultuous year has taken a toll on everyone.

Lack of Support

Many police officers have left the Minneapolis police departments over the past year. According to former police officer Steve Dykstra, officers in Minneapolis "feel helpless."

"This goes back before George Floyd. Since around 2015, I know the city of Minneapolis has been backpedaling, taking tools away from police to enforce the law and keep the streets safe." 

Steve Dykstra

However, Dykstra says city leaders have been taking away the "tools" officers need to do their jobs effectively long before the "tragic" murder of George Floyd.

Dykstra says, "They feel pretty helpless out there."

Shortage of Officers, Rising Crime

Now that Minneapolis has fewer officers and growing crime, they are looking to the state and federal governments for assistance. Violence is raging through the city, including a mass shooting.

The shooting killed a college student just before his graduation. The uptick in violence has led officials to offer a $30,000 reward in the search for the suspects in a shooting that hit three children. One was a 9-year-old girl who was jumping on her trampoline.

Saturday's shooting left two dead and eight people wounded. The gunfire began slightly before 2 a.m. According to investigators, two men were arguing and then fired as a crowd began to gather.

Two hundred Minneapolis police officers have left their departments over the past years. Most of them cite post-traumatic stress because of the civil unrest that happened after Floyd's death.

No End In Sight

The city has 31 deaths this year, and it does not seem to be slowing down. Dykstra blames much of it on policy.

"You take away loitering laws and the ability to pursue vehicles. You don't have to stop for the police in Minneapolis anymore, thanks to Mayor Frey and the city council. Cops get frustrated. What you see is chaos, violence, and reoccurring crime."

Steve Dykstra

The reason Dykstra left the force? Mayor Frey gave officers the order to leave their precinct, forcing them to watch as protestors lit it on fire. He also told officers to use a "soft" approach to the riots and rioters.

For Dykstra and many of the other officers, that was the last straw.

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