Minnesota Files Civil Rights Charges Against Minneapolis Police Department

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jun 03, 2020

As George Floyd’s family and supporters anticipate criminal charges for all four of the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) officers who were on the scene for the deadly encounter on May 25, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced on June 2 that it will begin an investigation into the MPD after filing a civil rights charge related to Floyd’s death.

Led by commissioner Rebecca Lucero, the investigation will examine policies, procedures and practices from the past 10 years to confirm if MPD practiced racist or “systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped,” according to a statement, which also confirms the illegalities of such practices. 

“George Floyd should be alive. He deserved to live a life full of dignity and joy,” Lucero said in the statement. “Community leaders have been asking for structural change for decades. They have fought for this and it is essential that we acknowledge the work and commitment of those who have paved the path to make today’s announcement possible.”

In collaboration with city leadership, including Minnesota governor Tim Walz, whose administration called for the investigation, Lucero and her team will immediately implement temporary measures to address systemic practices until long-term policies are created.

“Silence is complicity [and] Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” said Walz. “As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say. It is going to take action at all levels from the neighborhood on up, to get the change we need to see. This effort is only one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with those in the community who have been unseen and unheard for far too long.”

The civil rights department is also calling on Minnesotans to share with them any information they may have about police misconduct to get communities involved. “Every time we let a Black man’s murder at the hands of the state go unpunished, we chip away a piece of the soul of this country,” Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel said in a statement on June 2. “Let’s do the work so that no other Black mom has to go through life without her son.”

For anyone in the public who wants to share information that could further the MPD investigation on police, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website or call 651-539-1100.