US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday (April 21) that the Department of Justice will be launching a federal investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.
In a statement, Garland said the investigation would be to evaluate the Department’s policing practices.
“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 or unlawful policing.” Garland said.
This investigation, he said, will be separate of the federal investigation into Floyd’s murder.
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” the AG said.
In their investigation, federal authorities will be examining excessive use of force, in arrests and during protests. They will also look at Minneapolis’ systems of accountability for officers.
“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 conclusion,” Garland added.
This isn’t the first time the DOJ is investigating a city’s police department. In 2015, then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch launched a federal investigation into the Baltimore Police Department following the killing of Freddie Gray.
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