Ilhan Omar and other Minnesota Dem politicians who lead the defund the police movement just suffered a huge blow after a judge ruled residents of Minneapolis can sue the city over reductions in police staffing.
The lawsuit claims the number of licensed police officers has dropped from 825 at the start of 2020 to about 634 while the charter calls for staffing around 743 officers.
The Dems said citizens couldn’t sue at all and the judge said in this case they have the standing. Look, the data from the election is in and Omar and the Dems defund the police slogan was a disaster for the left and will continue to hurt them for years. It was that bad of a slogan. And now we have concerned citizens suing over it? Not a good spot for an unpopular politician to be stuck in.
From Southern Minn:
The lawsuit alleged city officials reduced police funding in 2020 by about $1.1 million during a police shortage following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Anderson ruled city officials “have no authority to divert funds from the Minneapolis Police Department if they have not met their public duty to fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident.”Anderson added that “misallocation of money that properly should fund a police force is an unlawful disbursement of funds.”
“Respondents are collecting tax money that should be paying for the police force, but is paying for something else,” Anderson wrote. “This alleged misallocation of money would ‘likely increase the tax burden on the government’s taxpayers.’”
The order allows the petitioners to submit a discovery plan and set an evidentiary hearing in early 2021.
Cathy Spann, one of the plaintiffs, said: “The Court rightly rejected the City’s attempt to have our lawsuit dismissed because we haven’t taken bullets ourselves, as we have watched our neighborhoods become full of violence and stray bullets,” Spann said in a statement.
“We look forward to testifying in Court about the City’s failure to protect us, and we will get to the bottom of the actual numbers of police officers protecting the North Side and the City.”
The lawsuit follows a violent crime wave in the city. The city has tallied roughly 77 homicides in the first 10-plus months of 2020, the Star Tribune reported, outpacing 48 homicides in 2019.
More than 500 people have been shot this year. More than 100 officers have left the department in 2020, more than double the typical average.
Five months ago, a majority of the City Council vowed to “dismantle” the police department. But in a 7-6 vote last week, they authorized spending $500,000 to hire between 20 and 40 outside law enforcement officers to respond to 911 calls related to violence through Dec. 31.
The judge wrote:
“Here, there is a clear public duty bestowed upon the City Council and Mayor Frey – funding a police force – that affects the safety of both the Petitioners and the public at large.
This public duty clearly falls within State v. Weld, which again, held that “where the object is…to enforce a public duty…any private person may move to enforce it.” 40 N.W. at 562.
As the Minnesota Supreme Court noted in McKee, there are “strong policy reasons to allow a challenge to the performance of mandatory duties by public officials.” 261 N.W.2d at 571 n.5. Specifically, Petitioners allege recent violent acts1 in their Minneapolis neighborhoods prove that the public duty to fund a police force is compromised. Petitioners now move to enforce said duty.
Thus, this Court believes that the Minneapolis taxpayers in this case have a beneficial interest in the clear public duty of funding a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident under the Charter
The Petitioners have standing to proceed on their Petition for a Writ of Mandamus.
On or before November 30, 2020, the parties shall submit either a joint proposed scheduling order or separate proposed scheduling orders for the Court’s review. The proposal shall include parameters and a timeline of discovery, if any, as well as suggested days and/or weeks for the evidentiary hearing to be heard by this Court.”