One Year After George Floyd: Policy and Politics Plague Minneapolis Police Force A man stands in front of police as they hold a line on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The National Guard has been activated as protests continue after the death of George Floyd which has caused widespread destruction and fires across Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Scott Olson/Getty)
By Jim Thomas | Tuesday, 25 May 2021 04:23 PM
One year after the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis Police are defecting, and those remaining on the force are having trouble doing their job because of policy, politics and a lack of resources, reports the Washington Examiner.
Former Minneapolis police officer Steve Dykstra, who left the force last summer, said on Tuesday that the city's officers feel helpless when trying doing their job.
"You take away loitering laws and the ability to pursue vehicles. You don't have to stop for the police in Minneapolis anymore, thanks to Mayor Frey and the city council. Cops get frustrated," Dykstra said, adding that he refuses to be a "stand-down cop," reported Fox News.
"What you see is chaos, violence, and reoccurring crime," he added.
"They feel pretty helpless out there," Dykstra said.
Dykstra said politics and policies have impacted the way officers do their jobs.
Regrettably, "this goes back before George Floyd. Since around 2015, I know the city of Minneapolis has been backpedaling, taking tools away from police to enforce the law and keep the streets safe," he told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Crime rates have also skyrocketed more recently after Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer last May. The growing trend of shootings has been particularly troublesome for the city, with early 2021 data showing a 250% increase in gunshot victims, reported Fox News.
Amid the increased violence in the city where George Floyd was killed nearly one year ago, officials also announced a $30,000 reward this weekend in the hunt for suspects responsible for the separate shootings of three children over the past several weeks, including one 9-year-old girl killed by stray gunfire while jumping on a backyard trampoline.
During the early Saturday shooting, two people were killed and another eight wounded after gunshots rang out just before 2 a.m. outside in the 300 block of N 1st Ave. Investigators say two men got into an argument and began firing amid a crowd gathered on the sidewalk near Monarch nightclub.
The city is seeking federal and state resources as it grapples with a surge in violent crime.
Policy changes and the city council's plans to defund the police department have led to nearly 200 officers leaving the force since Floyd’s death and the social unrest that followed.
Dykstra said he finally had enough when Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey ordered police to abandon their precinct when protesters set it on fire, telling officers to take a more “soft” approach while riots broke out across the city.
"They gave that building to them as a token," Dykstra said.
Floyd's death led to mass protests throughout the country. Former President Barack Obama marked the anniversary Tuesday, saying there were "reasons to hope" for a brighter future.
"George Floyd was murdered one year ago today. Since then, hundreds more Americans have died in encounters with police-parents, sons, daughters, friends taken from us far too soon," Obama tweeted. "But the last year has also given us reasons to hope."