- The Minnesota Department of Human Rights published the findings of its civil rights probe into the Minneapolis Police Department.
- It found that Minneapolis and its police department engaged in an unlawful pattern or practice of racial discrimination.
- The state's probe was launched days after George Floyd's killing at the hands of city police.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Wednesday published the findings of its civil rights probe into the Minneapolis Police Department following a roughly two-year investigation that was launched days after George Floyd's killing at the hands of city police.
The state agency found that the city of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in an unlawful pattern or practice of racial discrimination over the last decade.
Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said at a press briefing that "this pattern of race-based policing is caused primarily by an organizational culture" involving "flawed training," "deficient" accountability systems and a lack action on the part of city and police leadership.
The agency said it will work with the city of Minneapolis to develop a consent decree to require changes within the police department.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights reviewed a massive amount of data over a 10-year period between Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2020 from police stops, searches, arrests, use of force, policies, procedures, trainings, interviews, and ride-alongs in its probe.
The investigation found that MPD officers use higher rates of more severe force against Black individuals than white individuals in similar circumstances.
Police data showed that 63% of all use of force incidents that MPD officers recorded were against Black individuals, though Black people make up about 19% of the Minneapolis population, according to the agency's 72-page report.
"Officers are not held accountable because of ineffective accountability and oversight systems, which contribute to a pattern of discriminatory policing," the report says.
The investigation also found that MPD officers are more likely to stop vehicles with people of color and Indigenous individuals because of their race and that they treat Black and white individuals differently during traffic stops because of race.
MPD officers, the report says, "use covert social media to target Black leaders, Black organizations, and elected officials without a public safety objective."
"Some MPD officers and supervisors use racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language," the report says, which adds that "officers are trained to be aggressive towards community members, escalating situations and often using inappropriate levels of force."
"According to body worn camera footage, discipline records, statements from community members, and interviews with MPD officers, some MPD officers and supervisors use racial slurs," the report says. "They call Black individuals 'n-----s' and 'monkeys' and call Black women 'Black bitches.'"
Minneapolis cops have reported that their colleagues called fellow Black MPD officers "nappy head" and "cattle," according to the report.
The report goes on to say that the police data it reviewed "demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers' use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests."
"This pattern or practice of race-based policing is caused by MPD's ineffective oversight and accountability structures and ineffective trainings that reinforce a culture that is averse to accountability and not supportive for officers," the report states.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights began its investigation into the police department on June 1, 2020 — a week after Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.
Chauvin, who is white, was convicted of murder in the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, in June of last year and sentenced to 22 1/2 years behind bars.
The jury in the case found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter after they heard evidence that he kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed on the ground and pleading for his life.
The three other former Minneapolis officers who were with Chauvin when he killed Floyd were convicted on federal charges of violating Floyd's civil rights. They face a state trial in June.
Floyd's death sparked nationwide and global protests against police brutality and for racial justice.
A separate US Department of Justice investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department and the city, which was launched last April, is ongoing.