Minnesota Human Rights Department Files Civil Rights Charge, Will Investigate Minneapolis Police Department Over George Floyd’s Death

Illustration for article titled Minnesota Human Rights Department Files Civil Rights Charge, Will Investigate Minneapolis Police Department Over George Floyd’s Death
Photo: Kerem Yucel (AFP/Getty Images)

Say what you will about civil unrest, sometimes it yields results.

Five days after former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes and after a week of nationwide protests, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department over Floyd’s death and launched an investigation into MPD policing practices over the last decade.


The Star Tribune reports that the investigation into the MPD will “determine whether the department has engaged in discriminatory practices toward people of color” by taking a deep look into their policies and procedures over the past 10 years.

“We are going to establish peace on the streets when we address the systemic issues,” Gov. Tim Walz said as he announced the charge and investigation on Tuesday.

From the Tribune:

The move is the first time that the Human Rights Department has launched a systemic investigation into the largest police department in the state, the governor said. The state is also seeking an agreement with the city’s police department to implement immediate measures to address systemic issues of racial discrimination, Walz said.

While 40% of city residents are people of color, they are involved in 74% of all cases of police use of force, according to the most recent department data available. Black people are involved in 63% of the cases.

NBC affiliate KARE 11 shared an excerpt from the official filing, and the Human Rights Department didn’t bother mincing any words. It’s almost as if they looked at the video of Floyd’s detainment and saw the same wanton disregard for a black man’s physical wellbeing that we all saw.

“On May 25, 2020, near the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the respondent’s officers handcuffed George Floyd, an unarmed black man and kneeled on his neck while he gasped for air and called out for help,” the charges read. “The respondent’s officers did not respond to the calls for help, and George Floyd died. 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.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons


So...instead of charging the 3 other police officers with murder, which is what the protesters want, they’re planning to spend a bunch of time and energy proving something we already know to be true within the Minneapolis PD. K.