MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) – For some living in the Twin Cities, Wednesday’s published report showing Minneapolis police had violated the state’s human rights act was validation.
On Wednesday afternoon, standing across the street from where Floyd was murdered by former MPD Officer Derek Chauvin, Floyd’s Aunt spoke to the feeling.
“It’s vindication. It gives you a yes feeling,” said Angela Harrelson, Floyd’s mother’s sister. “Brown and Black people, we’ve been preaching this stuff about these institutions for over 400 years. All we wanted was to be heard. We never had the validation.”
Harrelson says for her, the area surrounding 38th and Chicago has become a place of healing. She says she feels the city is taking the first steps in the right direction.
“When you have the facts, you have stuff you can work with. There’s a problem, so let’s find and work towards solutions so people can get along,” she said.
Activists elsewhere agree.
“It’s the first step,” said Dave Bicking of Communities United Against Police Brutality. “If you don’t acknowledge the problem, you aren’t going to come up with solutions.”
“What we need now most of all is for people to come together,” Harrelson said. “We need to be unified. We need to come together in love and accept this, accept one another. That’s what we need to do now.”
WEB EXTRA: Read the full report here
“This damning report on MPD is a singing indictment of a police culture that’s steeped in racial discrimination and built on years of ineffective leadership and training, and a complete lack of accountability,” said ACLU-MN Legal Director Teresa Nelson. “While these findings are sadly not surprising to advocates or our community, they do once again underscore the need to completely rethink policing. As the report points out, without fundamental organizational change, reforming MPD would be meaningless.”
The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis also released a statement on Wednesday afternoon:
The MDHR found that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern and practice of race discrimination. We look forward to examining the evidence that was used to come to their determination so we can move forward as a department. We are committed to moving forward in a way that addresses identified issues head on, and restores the community’s faith in those who are entrusted with public safety.
The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a separate review of MPD’s policies, training, and supervision. That investigation began a year ago and remains “open and ongoing.”