Garland Proclaims Full Police Investigation Following Floyd’s Judgment – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department is launching a full investigation into Minneapolis police practices after a former officer was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday.
The decision comes a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May. That ruling sparked a wave of relief across the country. Floyd’s death had sparked months of mass protests against the police and the treatment of blacks in the United States.
The Justice Department was already investigating whether Chauvin and the other officials involved in Floyd’s death had violated his civil rights.
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal case did not address potentially systemic police problems in Minneapolis,” Garland said.
The new investigation, known as a “pattern or practice,” which examines whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, will allow for a broader review of the entire police force. This can lead to significant changes in policing in the city of Minnesota.
It will examine the use of force by police officers, including that used during protests, and whether the unit engages in discriminatory practices. It will also examine the department’s handling of misconduct allegations and treatment of people with behavioral disorders, and assess the department’s current systems of accountability, Garland said.
Minneapolis police said in a statement that the chief, Medaria Arradondo, “welcomes this investigation” and will cooperate fully with federal prosecutors. Arradondo “understands that the intent of this investigation is to identify deficiencies or undesirable behavior within the department and to provide adequate resources and instructions to correct them,” the statement said.
A senior Justice Department official said prosecutors decided to announce the investigation the day after the verdict because they didn’t want to do anything to disrupt Chauvin’s trial. The officer would not publicly discuss the details of the investigation and would speak on condition of anonymity.
Three other former Minneapolis police officers charged with Floyd’s death will be tried together on August 23. The official said their trial was far enough away that officials deemed it appropriate to make the announcement on Wednesday, despite the defendants awaiting trial for state fees.
It is unclear whether the years studied will start with Floyd’s death or sooner. Garland said a public report would be released if the department finds a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing. The government could also bring a lawsuit against the police force, which in the past has usually resulted in settlement agreements or consent orders forcing changes.
The Minneapolis Police Department is also being investigated by the Minnesota Human Rights Department, which examines the police department’s policies and practices over the past decade to determine whether it has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said city officials “welcome the investigation as an opportunity to continue working towards profound change and accountability in the Minneapolis Police Department.” The city council also issued a statement supporting the investigation. He said his work had been restricted by local laws and he welcomed “new tools to track transformative, structural changes in the city’s public safety”.
The Justice Department official said lawyers from the department’s civil rights division were in Minneapolis, working with the US law firm, and speaking with community groups and others.
Floyd, 46, was arrested on suspicion of handing over a fake $ 20 bill for a pack of cigarettes in a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic, and fought with the police when they tried to put him in a patrol car. Instead, they put him on the floor.
At the heart of the case was a spectator video of Floyd handcuffed behind his back and gasping for breath repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.” Viewers yelled at Chauvin to stop when the officer put his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck, which authorities said was about 9 1/2 minutes, including a few minutes after Floyd’s breathing stopped and he had no pulse.
Floyd’s death on May 25 became a focal point in national law enforcement talk about the deaths of Black Americans and sparked protests around the world.
During the trial, Chauvin’s defense attorney persistently suggested that Chauvin’s knee was not on Floyd’s neck as long as prosecutors argued, and instead suggested that it be over Floyd’s back, shoulder blades and arm.
The Justice Department had previously considered launching a model or practice trial against the law enforcement agency shortly after Floyd’s death, but then Attorney General Bill Barr hesitated at the time, fearing that if there were widespread protests it would lead to further divisions in the prosecution could and unrest, said three people familiar with the matter of the AP.
Garland said the challenges we face are “deeply woven into our history”.
“They didn’t arise today or last year,” said Garland. “Building trust between the community and law enforcement agencies will take time and effort for all of us, but we do this with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait.”
Forliti contributed to this report from Minneapolis.