[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department:
“F ollowing the murder of George Floyd, I called for investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. Last June, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights took up that call, immediately launched a civil rights investigation, and obtained a groundbreaking temporary restraining order against the Minneapolis Police Department and the City of Minneapolis. The state’s investigation continues and, now, under the leadership of President Biden and Attorney General Garland the United States Department of Justice is also answering the call. I welcome the federal government’s involvement in this important work, and I look forward to reviewing the results of both investigations as we work to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan released the following statement:
“While the trial of Derek Chauvin is over, the grief and anger ignited by the murder of George Floyd did not emerge from a vacuum. The issue of systemic racism in policing did not begin or end with one officer, but is instead about a pattern of behavior, a culture that continues to go unchecked. I am proud of the ongoing work of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, under the leadership of Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, to identify and ultimately address the practices, policies, and civil rights violations that led to the death of George Floyd. I welcome the investigation by the United States Department of Justice as we work at all levels of this system, top to bottom, to build a state where everyone is safe, valued, and protected. We have tremendous work to do.”
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Rebecca Lucero released the following statement:
“Our ongoing civil rights investigation into systemic racial discrimination quickly resulted in immediate changes. The Department of Justice’s focus on constitutional claims complements the Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ investigation. Together, these pattern or practice investigations will provide comprehensive and cohesive information needed to systemically shift the infrastructure to build a stronger Minneapolis.”
In June 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) began an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of George Floyd. This investigation into policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped. MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero is leading the investigation.
Days after the investigation was launched, in an unprecedented move, MDHR filed an emergency court action to create immediate structural changes in the MPD. Under the court order, the City of Minneapolis agreed to the following terms:
- Chokeholds are immediately banned;
- Police officers have a duty to report and intervene if another officer utilizes an unauthorized use of force;
- The use of crowd control weapons during protests and demonstrations may only be approved by the Chief of Police;
- Timely and transparent discipline decisions for police officers must be made; and
- Body camera footage may be audited by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.
The order also requires the MPD to fully comply with the investigation by MDHR and failure to comply with any of the measures could lead to penalties.
Minnesota has one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country. It is illegal for a police department to discriminate against someone because of their race. The MDHR investigation into the MPD is ongoing.