Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) on Tuesday announced that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department following the death of George Floyd.
According to Walz, the department will dive into MPD's "policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years to determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices."
Our Minnesota Department of Human Rights today filed a civil rights charge against the MPD. @mnhumanrights will investigate the department’s policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years to determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) June 2, 2020
My administration will use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in Minnesota. This effort is one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with communities that have been unseen and unheard for far too long.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) June 2, 2020
The investigation will be led by Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. In her charge of discrimination, Lucero said there is "sufficient information to investigate whether the respondent utilizes systemic discriminatory patterns or practices towards people of color, specifically Black community members, on the basis of race and in the area of public services."
Lucero cited Floyd's death and the death of Jamar Clark, a 24-year black man who was shot by police in 2015. The two officers involved in Clark's death were put on desk duty for almost a year but were ultimately not charged. Clark's family ended up settling with the city for $200,000 in August of 2019.
"This incident, and others similar to it since at least January 1, 2010 and continuing to the present, require investigation into whether the respondent’s training, policies, procedures, practices, including but not limited to use of force protocols, and any corresponding implementation, amounts to unlawful race-based policing, which deprives people of color, particularly Black community members, of their civil rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act," Lucero wrote.
Ben Crump, the attorney for the Floyd family, stated this "is very significant."
THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT! MN launched a civil rights probe into the Minneapolis PD on Tuesday, stemming from the death of #GeorgeFloyd. This will be designed to root out "systemic racism that is generations deep," Gov. Tim Walz told reporters. #JusticeForFloyd pic.twitter.com/Ijnrz1wW2l— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) June 3, 2020
The decision comes one day after the independent autopsy carried out by Drs. Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson concluded Floyd died as a result of asphyxia.