The Department of Justice has opened a civil investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday in the wake of former officer Derek Chauvin's murder conviction.
Garland said the investigation will focus on whether the Minneapolis Police Department "engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing." His announcement came after Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of George Floyd after kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes during his arrest in May 2020.
"Yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis," Garland said.
This probe will be separate from a previously-announced federal criminal investigation into Floyd's death, Garland noted. It will examine whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a pattern of "using excessive force, including during protests," as well as whether it "engages in discriminatory conduct" or unlawful treatment of people with behavioral health disabilities.
"Building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us," Garland added. "But we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait." Brendan Morrow