A former Minneapolis police officer said he quit his job just days before the start of Officer Derek Chauvin's trial in the death of George Floyd because he feared for his safety and said riots would take place no matter what verdict is handed down, Insider reported.
What are the details?
The outlet reported that the former sergeant spoke on the condition of anonymity, although Insider said it knows his identity.
The former officer noted to the outlet that he was up for retirement soon and worried about his safety in the face of what he said will be "riots and more destruction" when the trial comes to a conclusion.
"If Minnesota had the death penalty, and Chauvin got it, people in Minneapolis are still going to riot," the former officer told Insider. "They're still going to burn the city down."
He added to the outlet that "I don't want to get myself hurt or killed."
The former officer also told Insider he was part of a mass exodus of officers from the department since Floyd's death in late May.
Indeed, the Minneapolis City Council last June voted unanimously to adopt a resolution officially committing to replace its police department with a "community safety" model.
Then in October — after months of city council "defund the police" declarations — Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told council members that more than 100 officers had left the department, more than double the usual number.
Curiously, council members had been wondering "where are the police?" as crime was spiking in the city.
Then in November, reports emerged that due to the police shortage, Minneapolis would be forced to outsource police work to the tune of $500,000 for a month and a half of work.
"The morale in the department is the lowest I've seen it in almost 30 years," the former officer told Insider, adding that he was also disheartened by what he called police leaders' lack of support for officers in the aftermath of Floyd's death.
"I've never seen such a weak form of leadership," he said, according to the outlet, adding that he specifically took issue with the department's new guiding principle of "do no harm."
"People are afraid to do their jobs," the former officer added to Insider. "Nobody wants to use force in the department anymore." He said such an attitude can lead to officers getting hurt.
'We're a sinking ship'
"There's no support from our leadership," he also told the outlet. "We're a sinking ship, and I'm not going to be on it."
The former officer also told Insider that while Chauvin wasn't following protocol in kneeling on Floyd's neck, he believes Floyd died of a drug overdose and that Chauvin isn't guilty of a crime.
A Minneapolis city spokesman told the outlet he was "unable to discuss any aspects of the trial or case" because of a judicial mandate. Insider said the city now handles the police department's press inquiries following a city council vote to remove the department's public information officer in the wake of Floyd's death.