MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time in history, there is a state civil rights investigation into Minnesota’s largest police department, which comes in response to the deadly arrest of George Floyd last week.
The state started investigating allegations of discriminatory policies and practices in the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday.
The investigation will look at the last 10 years of practices, policies and procedures. It is an actual charge of racial discrimination, with a document delivered to the city on Tuesday.
Minneapolis police now at the center of a civil rights investigation into systemic discriminatory practices toward people of color.
“This effort is only one of many steps to come in our efforts to restore trust within those communities, who have been unseen, unheard, and believe that those that are charged to serve and protect not only don’t do that, they work against them,” Gov. Tim Walz said.
It comes after a week of grief, outrage and turmoil following Floyd’s death.
“This is one piece of the puzzle to getting justice for George Floyd and all black Minnesotans who have not been served or protected by the Minneapolis Police Department,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said.
Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will lead the historic investigation.
“Community leaders have been asking for structural change for decades. Working for it, bleeding for it and dying for it,” Lucero said.
She says they’ll work to find solutions quickly, to immediately implement changes while working for a long-term path to address systemic discriminatory practices that will take everyone working together.
“Our law enforcement community is being rotted from the inside out, and we have to cut that out and provide the necessary treatment to fix the system,” Justin Terrell with Council for Minnesotan’s of African Heritage said.
Lucero says the investigation will utilize what’s called a consent decree that can result in real action with consequences.
“This is not a report. This is something that will result in court action and require change,” Lucero said.
Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council said they welcomed the investigation.
The Department of Human Rights wants to hear from people who have information relevant to the investigation. The number to call is 651-539-1100 or click here to fill out a form.
Chief Arradondo released this statement Tuesday night:
The sworn and civilian members of the Minneapolis Police Department remain steadfast in recognizing that service is honorable, and it requires building genuine and authentic relationships with all communities. The authority given to us by the community comes with great responsibility and obligation to always have their best interest at heart. With the assistance of the State Human Rights Commission, we can take an honest examination at systemic barriers that have prevented us from reaching our greatest potential for those we serve.
The Minneapolis Police Officers Federation has not responded to WCCO’s request for comment.
WCCO-TV anchor/reporter Liz Collin is married to federation president Bob Kroll. To avoid any potential conflict of interest, Collin has not reported on Minneapolis Police and Minneapolis Police union issues for at least two-and-a-half years.