Judge rules in favor of lawsuit, orders Minneapolis to restore police staffing
Cathy Spann, and seven other Minneapolis residents sued their City Council and Mayor for letting the Minneapolis PD fall below minimum staffing requirements in violation of the City Charter.
The National Police Association (NPA) filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief supporting their suit. The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor had sought to circumvent the mandates of the City Charter by reducing the number of police officers through political budgetary maneuvering. The amicus brief highlighted the illegalities of attempting to reduce the police force. The brief emphasizes that to reduce the force below the minimum requirements puts greater risk not only to the police force itself but also to the public where fewer numbers of police officers could result in slower response times, resolution to crimes, or prevention.
Erick Kaardal, Minneapolis attorney, and lead counsel for NPA on the brief, said: “The Minneapolis city charter provision requiring a minimum police force is a social contract between the government, the public and police. The police collective bargaining agreement incorporates that social contract. Therefore, if the City Council is going to defund the police beneath the city charter’s limits, the Minneapolis City Council needs to get approval from the public and the police federation first.”
On July 1, 2021, the Hennepin County District Court ruled in favor of the suit and issued an order requiring the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey to immediately take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force that complies with the Charter.
The Petitioners are represented in the lawsuit by the Upper Midwest Law Center.
The National Police Association is represented by Erick G. Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson. The case is 27-cv-20-10558 Spann, et al v. Minneapolis City Council, et al, in Hennepin County, Minnesota District Court.
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