Jun 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Minnesota files civil rights charge against police over George Floyd's killing

Officers pepper spray protestors

Police spray protesters with pepper spray during a demonstration outside the Third Police Precinct on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced an investigation on Tuesday into the conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department over the past decade, alongside a civil rights charge into the killing of George Floyd.

The big picture: Complaints of excessive force brought against the city's law enforcement officers "have become commonplace, especially by African-American residents," the New York Times reports.

  • The investigation is intended to determine "if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped," Tuesday's statement reads.

Driving the news: Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck prior to his death, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter last week.

What they're saying: Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo responded to Floyd's brother on CNN Sunday evening in the family's first exchange with the police department.

  • "Being silent, or not intervening, to me, you're complicit. So I don't see a level of distinction any different," Arradondo said, when asked if he plans to arrest all officers involved in Floyd's death. "Mr. Floyd died in our hands, and so I see that as being complicit." Arradondo noted charges would come through the county attorney office.
  • “George Floyd should be alive. He deserved to live a life full of dignity and joy,” MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said in a 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.”
  • “Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement.

Go deeper... Minneapolis police chief to George Floyd's brother: "Mr. Floyd died in our hands"

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