Updated: July 10, 2020 06:40 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 01:06 PM
A Minneapolis attorney says that more than 150 Minneapolis police officers have started the process of filing disability claims, with most stating they're suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Ron Meuser, Jr., of the firm Meuser, Yackley and Rowland, said that the disability claims have come in the last six weeks, following the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing nights of unrest. One of those nights included the 3rd Precinct police station being burned down.
“While law enforcement is a high-stress career, the last two months in Minneapolis have pushed many officers to their breaking point,” Meuser said, explaining that many officers feel exhausted from working long shifts.
“I’m seeing PTSD symptoms of officers with highly diminished capacity to live and socialize, extraordinary rates of divorce and alcohol dependency just to cope,” he said in a statement. “It is an emotional crisis that cannot and should not continue.”
During a press conference Friday, Meuser spoke about the disability claims, saying it affects about 20% of officers in the Minneapolis Police Department.
According to his statement, he has represented thousands of people in workplace disability claims and specializes in supporting public employees.
Earlier this month, Meuser told KSTP's Jay Kolls the city of Minneapolis could see "more than 200" police officers file "disability separation" claims and be off the streets within the next several months.
The Minneapolis Police Department did not comment on the filings.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued the following statement to KSTP on Friday:
"We know that our officers are exposed to dangerous situations and traumatic events in the line of duty. And we also know that COVID-19 and the civil unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd have tested community and our officers in profound ways. What’s most important is that we treat invisible wounds just as we do other injuries – with a clear focus on healing.
"We need state law to reflect that dedication to healing, and cities need the resources to reflect the realities we’re seeing on the ground.
"In the meantime, I am committed to supporting those officers committed to carrying out their oath to serve and protect the people of Minneapolis during a challenging time for our city."
You can watch the full press conference Friday afternoon below.
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