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How Minneapolis Police 'Defunded' and Drained the City

After George Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, there was large outcry to defund the Minneapolis Police Department. Since then, that sentiment has been turned on its head, with Minneapolis police effectively defunding the city, Mother Jones reports. An actuarial study by the city in 2021 estimated that legal claims made in the 15 days after Floyd’s murder would lead to Minneapolis paying out $111 million in lawsuit settlements. Costly settlements from the violence the police committed included $27 million for George Floyd’s family; $2.4 million for protester Soren Stevenson; and $650,000 for journalist Linda Tirado. Tirado and Stevenson both have an eyeball missing as a result of the police firing so called “less lethal” rubber-coated steel bullets at them during protests.

Then there is the cost of the police officers themselves. Nearly 300 officers have left the department since Floyd’s murder, over one-third of the force. Officers leaving means some of these cops are getting generous retirement packages (costing the city money) after a career of complaints (costing the city money). One officer racked up more than $344,000 in misconduct settlements over the course of 12 years. He’s now receiving $56,000 a year in disability pension, on top of $195,000 in a workers compensation settlement. Since Floyd’s murder, Minneapolis has paid more than $23 million in workers’ compensation settlements to police officers.


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