In a new report released today (April 27), the Minnesota Department of Human Rights revealed that there was significant discrimination from the Minneapolis Police Department spanning at least a decade.
The nearly two-year investigation comes after George Floyd’s death at the hands of the department, causing outrage sparking protests around the world. The investigation began less than a week after his May 25, 2020 death.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights found that the MPD’s practices included maintaining a work culture where racist language is tolerated, stopping and arresting Black people at a higher rate than white people and using force more often on people of color.
Plans to address the problem would include input from residents — who were encouraged to share their experiences — city staff and police officers.
According to reports, the police department’s data “demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers’ use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests.” It continued by saying 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.”
A news conference was held after the findings were released. It was there that Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said, “This investigation is not about one individual or one incident.” When asked how long it would take to resolve the issue, Lucero said, “As long as it takes to do it right.”
City officials along with the MPD “do not need to wait to institute immediate changes to begin to address the causes of discrimination that weaken the City’s public safety system and harm community members,” according to the report.
Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights has the power to enforce the state’s Human Rights Act. This would make it illegal for police departments to discriminate against someone due to their race.
Since Floyd’s death, immediate changes have included banning chokeholds and requiring officers to intervene when they see another officer using inappropriate force.