Veteran officers say that morale within the department is lower than they have ever experienced. Some officers are scaling back their policing efforts, concerned that any contentious interactions on the street could land them in trouble. And many others are calling it quits altogether.

“It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” Officer Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year Minneapolis police veteran and union official, said of the mood within the department. “I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest.”…

Nearly 200 officers have applied to leave the Minneapolis Police Department because of what they describe as post-traumatic stress, said Ronald F. Meuser Jr., a lawyer representing the officers. The prospect that a department of about 850 could lose about 20 percent of its force in the coming months has prompted major concern.