How a Minneapolis resident fought city’s decision to defund police — and won

Late last year, Samuels and his wife, along with their neighbors, finally took action by filing a lawsuit against the city for failing to provide the minimum number of police officers per citizen in Minneapolis. On July 1, a judge ruled in their favor, ordering the Minneapolis Police Department to hire more officers. The department is now required to staff at least 730 officers by June 30, 2022, or .0017 sworn officers per resident.

The city council has also reversed its original decision to defund the police, approving $6.4 million in additional funding that the department requested to hire and train more cops.

“We are still a long way from the 888 [officers] that used to be our goal,” Samuels said. “But it will be a big improvement, by about 80, from where we are today. At least the council will not continue its defund strategy.”

Samuels said he is satisfied that people like him — minorities living in neighborhoods where violence escalated amid anti-police sentiment — are finally being heard.