U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced April 21 the Justice Department has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department. It follows the murder conviction of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
The investigation will assess all types of force used by MPD officers, including uses of force involving individuals with behavioral health disabilities and uses of force against individuals engaged in activities protected by the First Amendment. The investigation will also assess whether MPD engages in discriminatory policing. As part of the investigation the Justice Department will conduct a comprehensive review of MPD policies, training and supervision. The department will also examine MPD’s systems of accountability, including complaint intake, investigation, review, disposition and discipline. The Department of Justice will also reach out to community groups and members of the public to learn about their experiences with MPD.
Individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact the Department of Justice via email at Community.Minneapolis@usdoj.gov or by phone at 866-432-0268. Individuals can also report civil rights violations regarding this or other matters using the Civil Rights Division’s new reporting portal, available at civilrights.justice.gov. The new civil investigation is separate and independent from the criminal investigation into Floyd’s death that the Justice Department has previously announced. In June 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after filing a civil rights charge related to Floyd’s death. This investigation into policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years will determine whether there is probable cause to credit the allegation of unfair discriminatory practices by the MPD toward people of color. This will help the City determine what changes need to be made to stop any and all discriminatory practices. Learn more about the State investigation.