Group drops Minneapolis police staffing lawsuit

A group of north Minneapolis residents and city officials Monday agreed to dismiss a 2020 lawsuit over police staffing.

In the lawsuit, former city councilman Don Samuels and seven others argued that the city failed to abide by a charter provision requiring at least 17 police officers for every 10,000 residents.

Last year, voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have eliminated that minimum.

The state Supreme Court found that Mayor Jacob Frey has a "clear legal duty" to staff the department with at least 731 officers.

The group dropped the lawsuit because they believe the city is moving in the right direction, said attorney Doug Seaton, president of the Upper Midwest Law Center, which represented the group that sued.

"We believe that with the good faith of all parties, that they'll be able to meet those numbers. Now that'll take time. Obviously they're not going to hire 300 police officers overnight,” Seaton said.

In a statement, Frey said he's been pushing to rebuild the MPD ranks, and notes the most recent police contract includes a $7,000 retention bonus.

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