It’s been almost two months since George Floyd was killed at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. According to The New York Times, the department has since seen a surge in officers leaving the force. Morale is reportedly at an all-time low. Officers are cutting back their policing efforts in fear that their actions will get them in trouble with the department.
Officer Rich Walker Sr., a Minneapolis police veteran, shared how the mood of the department has been since the day Floyd was killed. “It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” he said. “I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest.”
According to the outlet, nearly 200 officers have applied to leave the force, said Ronald F. Meuser Jr., an attorney representing the cops. Typically, about 45 officers leave the force every year, but about 65 officers have left the department already.
Chief Medaria Arradondo told the City Council that many of the officers have taken temporary leave since Floyd’s death.
“Policing as an institution has largely been untouchable, despite the many, many, many failings that are cultural,” said Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison. “Here we are in a moment where people all over the country are saying, ‘No, no, no, no, no, we are interested in real accountability.’”
Last week, the family of Floyd filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the officers. The complaint listed a string of violent arrests that have taken place over the last few years in the city. The family also claimed that Minneapolis has been negligent in preventing police misconduct.
“It was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department on the neck of George Floyd that killed him,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said. “The city of Minneapolis has a history of policies and procedures and deliberate indifference when it comes to the treatment of arrestees, especially Black men, that cries out for training and discipline.”
The amount of money that the family is seeking was not listed in the suit, but Crump says the amount should be enough to make it “financially prohibitive” for cops to “kill marginalized people and Black people in the future in America.”