A district court judge in the State of Minnesota has rebuked the underlying argument of the ‘Defund the Police’ movement and has successfully issued an order for Minneapolis to hire more police officers.
The case Spann, et al. v. Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey, No. 27-cv-20-10558 in the Hennepin County District Court, is best to cite directly to conclusively show that Defund the Police advocates have put the public safety at risk.
“The term ‘police force’ in City Charter 7.3(c) is defined as sworn police officers,” the order states.
This is important because Defund the Police advocates have argued that social workers may take on the traditional roles of police officers. Furthermore, it is relevant because police department staff such as bureaucrats do not count towards the calculation.
“[T]he City Council must fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident, and provide for those employees’ compensation, for which purpose it may tax the taxable property in the City up to 0.3 percent of its value annually.”
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As if to make it a point that social workers and office bureaucrats do not count, the judge then cites the dictionary definition of a “police force.”
“The parties are in agreement that ‘police force’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as of April 19, 2021, as a ‘body of trained officers entrused by a government with a maintenance of public peace and order, enforcement of laws, and prevention and detection of crime.’ Despite this agreement, the parties disagree as it relates to who is an ’employee’ of the ‘police force’.”
The order then narrows down the meanings so that the City cannot use the administrative staff and employees towards the calculation.
“Clearly, the legislative intent of the use of the term ‘police force’ as opposed to ‘police department’ was to narrow the meaning to sworn police offiecrs, exclusive of administrative staff and employees,” it states. “The Court’s interpretation of the phrase ‘police force’ to include only sworn officers is further bolstered by the Charter’s history and purpose.”
Then, the judge points out that “the parties agree on the following data.” On “January 1, 2022, the MPD will have 649 sworn officers on payroll; on April 1, 2022, the MPD will have 637 sworn officers on payroll; on June 1, 2022, the MPD will have 669 sworn officers on payroll; and on January 1, 2023, the MPD will have 721 sworn officers on payroll.”
The judge pointed to the grievance of the complainants, residents Don and Sondra Samuels, that the City of Minneapolis had failed to “perform an official duty as clearly imposed by the law.”
“Here, Petitioners contend that they ‘have a clear right for Respondents to comply with Section 7.3 of the Minneapolis City Charter as residents of Minneapolis who need police to protect them, especially given the substantial increase in crime in Minneapolis due to the Mayor and City Council’s failure to support and fund the police’.”
“Despite the above-mentioned concessions, Respondents argue that the Petitioners ‘have established no causal connection between the injuries they claim and the funding and/or staffing of the MPD. Stated differently, Petitioners have not ‘met their burden to show a causal link between the crime they suffer, and Respondents’ budgetary decisions. [Therefore,] [a] peremptory writ of mandamus simply cannot issue.”
The City of Minneapolis’s denial of a causal link between a crime surge and the budgetary decision to ‘defund the police’ did not hold water.
“Thus, Petitioners have met their burden to show that the failure to fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident constitutes a ‘public wrong’ that is specifically injurious to Petitioners,” the judge decided.
Now comes the really painful part for radical supporters of the Defund the Police movement.
“Respondents concede the following: The crime rate in Minneapolis has increased since the killing of George Floyd, and Respondents do not challenge whether one or more Petitioners have suffered injuries from the increase in crime,” the order says. “Even so, Respondents argue that Petitioners ‘have not met their burden to show a causal link between the crime they suffer, and Respondents’ budgetary decisions’.”
“Since this Court has determined that Petitioners demonstrated ‘a public wrong specifically injurious to petitioner,’ this discussion will be very brief.” The judge then continues to connect the dots between Minneapolis’s crime surge and defunding the police.
“To summarize, Mayor Frey acknowledges that ‘the uptick in violence we are seeing’ is because police offiers are needed,” the judge decided. “The Courts finds that the reverse would be true, too. When the police force is adequately funded and staffed, violence decreases.”
“Mayor Frey’s email exchange and his Facebook post from February 2021, coupled with the testimony of Aimee Lundberg and Cathy Spann, is clear evidence there is a causal connection between Petitioners’ claimed injuries and Respondents’ failure to comply with 7.3(c) – funding and/or staffing of the MPD.”
This is a victory for residents who have had to watch in horror as radical activists, including prominent members of the Democratic Party, called for defunding the police amidst violent, destructive rioting by Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters throughout 2020.
Don and Sondra Samuels, as well as six neighbors, told the Daily Mail why they filed the lawsuit against Minneapolis.
“Don, 72, explained how he and his wife watched the mayhem that followed Floyd’s death under the knee of Derek Chauvin last year with growing concern,” he told the Daily Mail in an exclusive.
“We were pretty frightened and disturbed by the disrespect of the police and the institution of policing,'” he said.
“We know there are problems for sure but when they burned down the Third Precinct, for us a new watermark had been reached and it was putting our safety at risk,” he added.
Minneapolis is far from the only major city to see violent crime skyrocket since the same time last year, as reported by Fox Tracking.
- Portland: 533% increase in homicides; 126% increase in shootings
- Atlanta: 58% increase in homicides; 40% increase in shootings
- Philadelphia: 37% increase in homicides; 27% increase in shootings
- New York City: 13% in homicides; 64% increase in shootings
- Los Angeles: 22% increase in homicides; 51% increase in shootings
- Chicago: 5% increase in homicides; 18% increase in shootings
Reducing police budgets ultimately led to increased violence against Americans, including hundreds of deaths. No wonder the Democratic Party is fleeing its earlier position of supporting ‘Defund the Police.’