(USA Features) The city of Minneapolis continues to shed police officers at a high rate on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, with cops saying they don’t feel like they are supported by elected leaders.
But in fact, says one former officer, the anti-police sentiment in the city pre-dates last year’s incident.
“This goes back before George Floyd. Since around 2015, I know the city of Minneapolis has been backpedaling, taking tools away from police to enforce the law and keep the streets safe,” former Minneapolis officer Steve Dykstra told Fox News.
“They feel pretty helpless out there,” he added.
City leaders have been looking for additional federal and state resources as Minneapolis has experienced a massive surge in violence and crime, as have many other major American cities. And while Dykstra says resources have been scarce for years, the current crime spike can be dated back to the period immediately following the Floyd incident.
Some 200 officers have left the force since Floyd’s death following policy changes and defunding efforts after Floyd’s death.
“You take away loitering laws and the ability to pursue vehicles. You don’t have to stop for the police in Minneapolis anymore, thanks to Mayor Frey and the city council. Cops get frustrated,” Dykstra said of the changes.
“What you see is chaos, violence, and reoccurring crime.”
He said he personally had enough when Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey instructed officers to abandon the Third Precinct as it was being set upon by rioters and to take a “soft” approach towards lawbreaking demonstrators as riots spread across the city.
“They gave that building to them as a token,” Dykstra said.