Almost 150 Minneapolis Officers Claim To Have PTSD Due To George Floyd Protests
Since the tragic death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter protests have taken over the streets of Minneapolis, the same city where he died. It has been reported that these protests have had a detrimental effect on the officers from the Minneapolis Police Department.
According to the Washington Post, almost 150 police officers have claimed to have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the protests and have filed for disability.
“While law enforcement is a high-stress career, the last two months in Minneapolis have pushed many officers to their breaking point,” Ron Meuser Jr., a personal injury attorney who is representing the officers, told the Post.
Meuser added that officers feel that their experience “has brought them to this point where they are no longer able to continue on within the police department.”
He told the Post that officers have been traumatized from the happenings that occurred during the earlier days of the protests. Minneapolis’ Third Precinct Police station was burned down in May and when the fire broke out, 13 officers were in the building. Meuser said that the officers thought they were going to perish in the fire and sent what they thought were final texts to their families. He also said officers feared being beaten to death and considered suicide if they felt they were in danger of that happening.
There has also been an outcry to defund the police which has further shown the lack of confidence the Black community has in the police departments across the country.
Besides 20% of the Minneapolis police force filing for disability, there are many also filing for retirement according to head of the Minneapolis police union Lieutenant Bob Kroll.
“Our numbers are shrinking. Our retirements are coming en masse,” Kroll said during a Facebook Live intervew. “With the culture towards police, how they’re viewed right now, who wants to do this job anymore?”
Despite the protests, there has also been an uptick in violence in Minneapolis. It’s reported that over 240 people have been shot in the city since Floyd’s death on May 25. Incidents that involved gunfire have doubled since last year, going up to over 1,500.
Meuser added that this is a “heartbreaking” experience for the officers.
“Nobody chooses to have PTSD,” he continued. “None of them wanted to leave this way . . . To lose their identity, to leave the job that they love and they have cared for. . . . This is heartbreaking.”