The state of Minnesota on Tuesday June 2, filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department over the death of George Floyd.
Governor Tim Walz who made the announcement, said the state’s Department of Human Rights will also launch an investigation against the Minneapolis Police Department following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody last week.
He said the investigation into the police department’s policies, procedures and practices over the past 10 years will determine if the force has engaged in systemic discrimination toward people of color, and work out how to stop it. State Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will lead the investigation.
“Silence is complicity. Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state.
“I think the thing I’m hearing from the protesters is: ‘We’re not watching and we don’t care what you say. We care what you do.”
Lucero’s department will seek an agreement from Minneapolis city leaders and the police department to immediately implement interim measures, followed by long-term measures to address systemic discrimination.
The announcement is coming five days after the Hennepin County Attorney filed criminal charges against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer seen on now-viral video with his knee on Floyd’s neck. The three other officers on the scene of Floyd’s arrest have yet to face charges.
The FBI is also investigating whether police willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights. The Department of Justice announced last week that they are also investigating whether Chauvin and the other officers violated federal civil rights laws.
It was further learnt that the Minneapolis Police Department has faced decades of allegations brutality and other discrimination against African Americans and other minorities, even within the department itself. Critics say its culture resists change, despite the elevation of Medaria Arradondo as its first black police chief in 2017.
Arradondo himself was among five black officers who sued the police department in 2007 over alleged discrimination in promotions, pay, and discipline.
Credit: Linda Ikeji