Group of Minneapolis residents file lawsuit against city over public safety concerns

Jay Kolls
Updated: October 19, 2020 10:18 PM
Created: October 19, 2020 08:46 PM

Doug Seaton, president of the Upper Midwest Law Center, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the plaintiffs he represents believe Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council have violated the City Charter by not having the minimum number of sworn police officers required by the charter.

"The city, based on census population, should have 743 sworn officers ready to respond to calls," Seaton said. "We've asked the city to tell us how many available officers there are right now to answer calls but we have not received that information, and the plaintiffs think the number of officers on the street is well below the required 743."

Minneapolis city charter explains process of governing, funding police

Seaton told KSTP the plaintiffs want immediate action taken by the City Council and the mayor to reach that minimum level of 743 officers.

"My clients have just had enough and they don't feel safe and their families don't feel safe," Seaton said. "They've had bullets flying around their homes, and not just around their homes, some have had bullets actually go into their homes."

Frey and the City Council generally do not respond to lawsuits that have not been adjudicated yet, but the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office issued the following statement:

"The City Attorney's Office is vigorously defending the city in this lawsuit and is confident city leaders have met their obligations as required by the City Charter."

A ruling from the district court judge assigned to the case is expected sometime within the next three to four weeks.


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