Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced that the Justice Department is launching an investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis, less than a day after a former officer was convicted of murdering George Floyd.
“Although the state’s prosecution was successful, I know that nothing can fill the void that the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death,” Garland stated. “Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” Breitbart reported.
The “pattern and practice” probe will examine whether Minneapolis law enforcement engages in unconstitutional policing behavior and how it handles allegations of misconduct now and in the future.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey applauded the review, saying in a statement that local officials “welcome the investigation as an opportunity to continue working toward deep change and accountability in the Minneapolis Police Department.”
The investigation will “ examine the use of force by police officers, including force used during protests, and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices. It will also look into the department’s handling of misconduct allegations and its treatment of people with behavioral health issues and will assess the department’s current systems of accountability,” Garland said.
A senior Justice Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity said prosecutors chose to announce the probe a day after the verdict because they did not want to do anything to interfere with Chauvin’s trial, according to the report.