Nearly 200 police officers have filed to leave the Minneapolis police department

In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests, many officers are leaving the department

Updated: July 26, 2020 - 11:55pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Nearly two months after four officers from the Minneapolis police department were charged in connection to George Floyd's death, nearly 200 police officers have filed to leave the department. 

According to boston.com, some officers are scaling back their policing efforts, concerned that any contentious interactions on the street could land them in trouble. About 65 officers already have left, and one said that he’s shocked the department still has officers. 

“It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” Officer Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year Minneapolis police veteran and union official, said of the mood within the department. “I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest.”

An email that was obtained by The New York Times said that the department would not “be going back to business as usual.” Commander Scott Gerlicher, head of the Special Operations and Intelligence Division, wrote in the email to supervisors this month that, “Due to significant staffing losses of late,” the department was “looking at all options” for responding to calls, including shift, schedule and organizational changes.

He also included in the email that they were “looking for reasonable and safe alternatives to police services in some areas.”

Several officers in Minneapolis said they felt like they all were being stereotyped because of Derek Chauvin, the former officer who killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck.

“Cops have not been to the work level of before, but it’s not a slowdown,” said Walker. “They’re just not being as proactive because they know they’re not supported in case something bad happens.”

Tensions between the city and its Police Department come as crime is on the rise, according to the Boston website. There have been 16 homicides since June 1, more than twice as many as during the same period last year. Violent crime is up by 20% compared with the same stretch a year ago.

“Now is not the time for us to run away,” said Officer Charles Adams III, a 19-year veteran and native of the city’s predominantly Black North Side.

“I’m a Black face. I can be out there,” he added. “I wear blue, but let’s talk: ‘What do you want to see done? How can I help you?’ I think it’s my opportunity to give people what they’ve been asking for.”

One reason for leaving the force includes post traumatic stress, according to one officer.

Just the News Spotlight