Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced that the Department of Justice will investigate the practices of the Minneapolis police department and whether the department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.
The announcement comes a day after Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts in the death of George Floyd last year. He was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter.
“I know such wounds have deep roots,” Garland said. “And that too many communities have experienced those wounds, firsthand. Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address, potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis.”
“Today I’m announcing that the Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” Garland said in remarks from the Justice Department.
He said the investigation is separate from the previously announced federal criminal inquiry into Floyd’s death.
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis.”
“If the Justice Department concludes that there’s reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions,” he said. “I know that justice is slow, sometimes elusive, and sometimes never comes. The Justice Department will be unwavering in its pursuit of equal justice under law.”
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