Over 200 police officers have left, are in the process of leaving, or are on extended leave from the Minneapolis Police Department.
Several police officers explained it is due to lack of support and the feeling that they had to defend themselves throughout the course of the riots that plagued the city last summer, according to a report from WCCO in Minneapolis.
In the report, one officer, Steve Dykstra, explained his reasons for wanting to leave.
“I wanted to help people. I think that’s what all cops would say when they first get started. It’s like, ‘I want to help people.’ And part of helping people is, for me anyway, it’s stopping bad people from doing bad things,” Dykstra began.
Officer Dykstra explained, in recent years, the morale and motivation in police officers has dramatically decreased.
“It seemed like there was a back-pedaling through policy. So we were always, they were always taking more away from us and what we could do,” he said.
Dykstra detailed the events that occurred after the death of George Floyd. He described that officers had to stand outside to defend the police precinct to defend – while having rocks thrown at them and being verbally abused. Eventually the officers were ordered to leave, allowing the rioters to enter and set fire to the building.
Hostility towards police officers has become an alarming trend across the United States. Democratic politicians have continuously repeated dangerous calls to “Defund the Police.” This language comes as violence directed against law enforcement has continued to rise in the past 2 years.
In a statement to WCCO, Sgt. Sherral Schmidt, the president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said, “As a profession, we are demonized daily by many who have created a dangerous false narrative that is perpetuated by the media. Many careers were destroyed over the last year.” He continued, “Furthermore, officers feel a lack of support throughout all levels of leadership, from our elected officials who have pushed a defund movement.”
— — —