Today, Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero announced next steps in the civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), following the death of George Floyd.
In an unprecedented move, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed an emergency court action and an agreed proposed court order that details immediate structural changes that the MPD must implement. The City of Minneapolis agreed to implement structural changes and joined the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in submitting the court order.
Under the proposed court order, the City of Minneapolis agrees to the following terms:
- Chokeholds are immediately banned;
- Police officers have a duty to report and intervene if another officer utilizes an unauthorized use of force;
- The use of crowd control weapons during protests and demonstrations may only be approved by the Chief of Police;
- Timely and transparent discipline decisions for police officers must be made; and
- Body camera footage may be audited by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.
“We are moving quickly to create substantive change,” said Governor Walz. “I’m grateful to City of Minneapolis leadership for taking these critical steps with us to address the systemic inequities that have persisted for generations in our criminal justice system.”
The proposed court order also requires the MPD to comply with the ongoing civil rights investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Once the order is reviewed and approved by the Hennepin County District Court, the court will have the power to enforce these reforms and failure to comply could result in an action for contempt of court
“Today is a historic step in undoing systemic discriminatory practices toward communities of color and Indigenous communities,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “The immediate changes that the Minneapolis Police Department agreed to implement bring us another step closer to justice for George Floyd, and all Minnesotans who have experienced different treatment from law enforcement. It is long overdue.”
The civil rights investigation into MPD policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years remains ongoing. The investigation will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped.
“While the civil rights investigation continues, these immediate changes are designed to stop ongoing irreparable harm to Black, Indigenous, and communities of color who have suffered generational pain and trauma as a result of systemic and institutional racism,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “Every one of these changes came directly from community. As Minnesota’s civil rights enforcement agency, we are committed to doing more.”
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is committed to engaging with community throughout this investigation. Minnesotans with information that can further the civil investigation into the MPD should contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights at mn.gov/mdhr or 651-539-1100.