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George Floyd Minneapolis Police
Alondra Cano, a Minneapolis City Council member, speaks during a meeting at Powderhorn Park on Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Minneapolis. (File photo: Star Tribune via AP)

Judge backs activists who want more Minneapolis officers

A judge on Thursday ruled in favor of eight Minneapolis activists who sued the city council and mayor over funding the police force.

The order by Hennepin County District Judge Jamie L. Anderson requires that the city have at least 730 sworn officers on the payroll, or more if indicated by the 2020 Census that will be published later this year.

The suit was brought on behalf of eight residents in north Minneapolis by the Upper Midwest Law Center, an arm of the conservative think tank Center for the American Experiment. It was sparked by threats to defund the police force and the departure of officers after the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

The complaint cited an increase in shootings and homicides, as well as the destruction of the Fifth Police Precinct during the Floyd protests as evidence that “Minneapolis is in a crisis.” Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died after former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck.

According to Anderson’s order, the Minneapolis Police Department is expecting to have 669 sworn officers as of June 1, 2022. The judge said that does meet a section of city code that calls for police to fund and employ at least 0.0017 sworn officers per resident of Minneapolis.

A spokeswoman for the city said officials were working on a statement in response to the order.

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