On July 10, a Minneapolis attorney, Ron Meuser Jr., revealed that at least 150 Minneapolis police officers are claiming that “they are suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] or other injuries from the protests after Minnesotathe February 25th police killing of George Floyd.[i]
Some of these protests were violent and included direct actions on police targets, including the attacks and destruction of the police’s 3rd Precinct station, when some officers “wrote what they thought were final texts to family members and loved ones fearing they would be killed . . . . [and] counted their ammunition to make sure they would have a bullet for themselves to avoid being beaten to death.”
Moreover, since Floyd’s May 25th death, “more than 240 [citizens and other] people have been shot, 13 fatally. . . [in Minneapolis, and on July 9th ], nine people were shot and one was killed in a span of six hours. One of the wounded was a pregnant woman.”
According to Meuser, half of the officers making the disability claims “are no longer on the job because they have exhibited symptoms of PTSD. . . . [and the] other half likely will quit working in coming days as they formalize disability claims.”
In 2013 Minnesota’s workers compensation statute was amended to include PTSD as a ground for such relief, and in 2019 it was amended so that a police officer’s PTSD is presumed to have developed because of police work. The approval of such a claim entitles the officer to 60 percent of his or her salary until retirement or is no longer determined to be disabled. Thus, these claims add another financial burden to a city already suffering from the economic and financial effects of the pandemic.
[i] McKinney & Navratil, Attorney: MPD officers filing for disability at ‘unprecedented’ levels, StarTribune (July 10, 2020); Bailey, Minneapolis police officers say they are suffering from PTSD after George Floyd protests, Wash. Post (July 10, 2020)l