Justice Department Announces Federal Probe Into Minneapolis Policing

By Jason Hall

April 21, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday (April 21) that the Justice Department will launch a "pattern or practice" investigation into the policing practices of the Minneapolis Police Department and whether the department has a pattern of discriminatory policing.

The announcement comes hours after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the murder of George Floyd, a Black man killed while being detained by Chauvin last year, ABC News reports.

"Today, I am 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, unlawful policing," Garland said.

The federal probe into the Minneapolis Police Department will reportedly be staffed by "experienced attorneys" and others from the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota.

"The new civil investigation is separate from and independent of the federal criminal investigation into the death of George Floyd, that the Justice Department has previously announced," Garland added.

The attorney general also confirmed the DOJ has the authority to bring a civil lawsuit.

"Usually when the Justice Department finds unlawful practices or patterns or practices, the local police department enters into a settlement agreement or a consent decree to ensure that prompt and effective action is taken to align policing practices with the law," Garland said.

The Associated Press initially reported Garland was expected to announce the federal probe of the Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday.

Photo: Getty Images

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