Minneapolis police officers quit in wake of George Floyd death
New York — At least seven Minneapolis police officers have resigned from the department since the death of George Floyd in police custody there last month sparked a massive protest movement, local media reported.
City spokesperson Casper Hill confirmed the departures to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Another seven officers are in the process of exiting and several others had to be convinced to stay, the newspaper reported, citing department officials.
The unusually large exodus comes as the city’s police force is facing a human rights investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, as well as calls for defunding and disbandment.
Officers are feeling misunderstood and crushed by the state probe, protests, city authorities and the media, officials told the paper.
The nation has been rocked by sustained protests against police brutality and racism since Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he pleaded for his life.
Chauvin and three other officers involved were fired from the department, arrested and charged.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who represents part of Minneapolis, on Sunday said the department must be dismantled.
“You can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root, what you can do is rebuild,” she told CNN. “The current infrastructure that exists as policing in our city should not exist anymore.”
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution initiating a year-long process to transform the public safety system with a view to deprioritizing the police.