At least 150 Minneapolis police officers have filed for disability, citing post-traumatic stress disorder as their reason for leaving following weeks of crime and turmoil after George Floyd’s death.
The disability claims come as the city grapples with an uptick in crime and elected officials try to dismantle the police department while trying to create a more holistic approach to public safety, the Associated Press reported.
Attorney Ron Meuser, without mentioning George Floyd’s death and the riots that followed as the cause for the disability requests, said the past two months have “pushed many officers to their breaking point.”
“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. It is an emotional crisis that cannot and should not continue,” he said in a statement.
Meuser noted that many of the officers filing for disability were at the Minneapolis Department’s Third Precinct the night police left the building before rioters torched the building.
The Minneapolis Police Department has come under intense scrutiny since May 25, when a white officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, for eight minutes while making an arrest. Throughout this time, Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.
Chauvin is facing charges of murder, while his fellow officers at the scene face charges of aiding and abetting murder.
The Minneapolis City Council is also discussing plans to defund the police department and replace it with a holistic method of public safety.
“The men and women in public safety who give their heart and soul to serve Minneapolis and keep it safe deserve to have Minneapolis leaders to step up and supporting them. Instead of spending time plotting the dismantling of the force, let’s come together to improve community trust and work towards a safer city for all,” Meuser said.