New York Daily News
Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer last spring, plans to spend $6.4 million to hire new officers.
The City Council on Friday unanimously approved the release of the funds, eight days after the police requested the money, citing 200 fewer officers available to work, compared to recent years, the Star Tribune reported Friday.
The vote took place as some activist groups and members of the council advocate to replace the department following the May 2020 killing of Floyd.
A slew of officers quit or took an extended medical leave, citing PTSD, following Floyd’s death and the subsequent unrest, which resulted in the burning of a police precinct.
Though the department said it started off the year with a payroll of 817 officers — 60 fewer than the year prior — just 638 are currently available to work. While 155 are still on some form of extended leave, others resigned or retired early on in the year.
Friday’s vote came on the heels of Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo noting they’d alter the hiring process. Going forward, Minneapolis police plan to include application questions such as those about whether candidates have earned degrees in psychology, criminology, counseling, or social work, and whether they’ve ever lived in the city.
The changes will hopefully “help us to really feel confident that we are recruiting the kinds of candidates we want right from the beginning,” Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman told the outlet.
Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed when now-former officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on the former’s neck for several minutes, even as he made it known he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death played a significant role in reigniting global Black Lives Matter protests and reevaluations of racial inequality.
Some Minneapolis residents have pleaded for more officers as they’re reporting longer wait times for emergency response while others want the department dismantled, claiming the city’s police have yet to effectively reduce crime.
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