Residents who sued Minneapolis over police staffing drop lawsuit

A group of Minneapolis residents who sued the city over police staffing issues in 2020 have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit, citing satisfaction with steps the city has taken so far to address the issue.

The residents brought the lawsuit in the fall of 2020, as dozens of officers left the department in the wake of George Floyd's murder, trying to force Minneapolis to abide by the city charter, requiring minimum police staffing levels dependent on population.

The lawsuit ultimately resulted in a ruling this past summer, with the Minnesota State Supreme Court ordering the city to bring its police staff to a minimum of 731 officers. The decision came months after voters also rejected a city charter change that would have removed the minimum police staffing requirement, which was being supported by "defund the police" advocates.

After the state supreme court ruling, the city was set to appear in court in the coming weeks to explain why they have been able to meet staffing requirements. With the dismissal, that hearing now won't happen.

Speaking with FOX 9, Upper Midwest Law Center president Doug Seaton said his clients decided to end the lawsuit because they were pleased with efforts by Mayor Frey to bolster police staffing and his budget proposal for the department. Seaton says the group didn't want the lawsuit hanging over the city as they attempt to make changes.

Seaton also says his clients view the dismissal as a victory, saying the lawsuit has accomplished what it set out to do. He also points out the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could re-file in the future if the city fails to execute on efforts to bolster staffing.