“These are challenging times for officers,” says St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. A cop in nearby Eagan says citizens are more brazen and law enforcers are “walking on eggshells” after controversial shootings.
In his 15 years on the force, Eagan, Minn., police officer Jeff Thul says he hasn’t seen anything like what he’s witnessing now, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Mistrust. Hostility. In some cases, outright resistance. On five different occasions over the past year, drivers have ignored his attempts to pull them over and fled. “People are more brazen to just fight with us,” Thul said while on patrol recently. “Certain people are taking advantage of the fact that law enforcement are walking on eggshells.”
Police in Minnesota and across the country say they feel more scrutinized, second-guessed and threatened than ever. A series of controversial police shootings sparked widespread protests and persistent calls for police accountability. “These are challenging times for officers, whose job it is to confront chaos with calm, run toward danger and assist people in the throes of life’s worst moments on a daily basis,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. “Even though the profession is a calling for most of our officers, the job can wear you down.”