US Justice Department Announces Federal Probe Into Minneapolis Police After Chauvin Verdict
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a probe into the Minneapolis Police Department following the conclusion of Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.
Attorney General Merrick Garland made this announcement today (April 21), stating that the investigation is intended to ‘determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional, unlawful policing’.
The effort will reportedly be staffed by ‘experienced attorneys’, as well as other experts from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.
I know such wounds have deep roots. And that too many communities have experienced those wounds, firsthand. Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address, potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis.
The new civil investigation is separate from and independent of the federal criminal investigation into the death of George Floyd, that the Justice Department has previously announced.
Garland went on to state the DOJ ‘also has the authority to bring a civil lawsuit’, adding:
Usually when the Justice Department finds unlawful practices or patterns or practices, the local police department enters into a settlement agreement or a consent decree to ensure that prompt and effective action is taken to align policing practices with the law.
The challenges we face are deeply woven into our history. They did not arise today, or last year, building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us. But we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police officer, has been found guilty on all three counts after being charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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