A state investigation launched after George Floyd’s murder found that Minneapolis police engaged in a pattern of race discrimination for at least the past decade, according to the Associated Press. The bad behavior includes stopping and arresting Black people at a higher rate than whites, using force more often on people of color, and maintaining a culture where racist language is tolerated.
While Floyd’s murder spurred protests around the world, gained a conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin, and found the other three officers guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights, comprehensive police reform is having a more challenging time taking shape–especially given that Republicans are resistant to changing things like qualified immunity.
However, after the two-year investigation, the Minneapolis Department of Human Rights released the report, based on a decade’s worth of information, including data on traffic stops, searches, arrests, and uses of force, and examined policies and training. Investigators also interviewed officers throughout the department, and “overwhelmingly, we found officers being very forthcoming.”
The report said police department data “demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers’ use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests.” And it said officers “used covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organizations, unrelated to criminal activity, and maintain an organizational culture where some officers and supervisors use racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language with impunity.”
The report states that the city and police department “does not need to wait to institute immediate changes to address the causes of discrimination that weaken the City’s public safety system and harm community members.” It also listed steps the police department can take:
- implementing stronger internal oversight to hold officers accountable for their conduct
- instituting better training
- better communication with the public about critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings
National civil rights attorney Ben Crump and his partners called the report “historic” and “monumental in its importance.”
“We call on city, state, and Police leaders to accept the challenge of these findings and make meaningful change at last to create trust between communities of color in Minneapolis and those who are sworn to protect and serve them,” the lawyers said in a statement.