DOJ exposes Minneapolis PD for patterns of racism and abuse

THE justice department It took two years to find out what black people have been saying for generations: the Minneapolis Police Department is at best incompetent and at worst a racist terrorist organization.

DOJ press conference in Minneapolis

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

The DOJ had to watch an infamous chapter of America’s biggest gang to believe it. THE PA reports that the Justice Department finally revealed that Minneapolis police “systematically discriminated against racial minorities, violated constitutional rights and ignored the safety of those in custody for years before George Floyd was killed.”

When people think of corrupt cops as “bad apples,” they’re usually unaware that the rest of the sentence says they “inevitably spoil the whole bunch.” According to findings on Minneapolis police practices, it’s rotten to the core.

The day after former Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, the DOJ opened an investigation into the department. Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledged the few exceptions before announcing that “the patterns and practices we observed made what happened to George Floyd possible.”

Officers routinely endanger the lives of those in their custody. We have already seen the unwritten rule of recognizance when it comes to people in custody who are struggling to breathe. The standard police response, including in Floyd’s final moments, was often some variation of, “You can breathe. You are talking right now.

The Cowards in Blue routinely abused their power to racially profile Black and Indigenous communities. Cops frequently terrorized innocent victims with “dangerous techniques and weapons” for trivial reasons like criticizing the police or for no reason at all. After Floyd’s death sparked uprisings against police brutality and racism, cops fired back at protesters and reporters.

Driving while black was all it took to experience 6.5 times more traffic stops than whites. For Native Americans, it was 7.9 times more common. According to the US Census, only 18.4% of Minneapolis is black and 1.3% is Native American and Alaska Native.

The report found that Minneaplolis officers applied neck restraints like the one that killed Floyd 198 times between January 1, 2016 and August 16, 2022. They even continued to use them after they were banned due to his murder.

Mental health crises more often end in assaults and arrests than in the emergency mental health care they actually need.

Change is on the horizon in Minneapolis, but police reform is just the start of what cities need to be safer

Third anniversary of George Floyd's death marked in Minneapolis

Source: Stephen Maturity/Getty

The civil rights investigation reviewed documents, body camera footage and data collected from the city and police. In addition to monitoring the Minneapolis PD from 2021 to 2022, the review covered police practices and misconduct dating back to 2016. The DOJ also conducted walk-throughs and interviews with officers and residents. The findings of the review led the city and the police department to agree to a consent decree.

Other cities like Baltimore, New Orleans, Chicago, Seattle and Ferguson have also welcomed the oversight of a consent decree. The agreement subjects the police department to federal oversight of reform efforts by an independent monitor and a federal judge.

After years of getting away with literally shooting first and asking questions later, these reforms are long overdue. Key findings determined that Minneapolis cops often respond to mental health crises with lethal weapons and chokeholds.

Citizens have filed complaints about incidents such as holding a black teenager at gunpoint for a $5 burrito or threatening to “make sure you and all Black Lives supporters are wiped off the face of Earth”. However, corrupt cops conveniently get rid of wrongdoing without even reviewing evidence like camera footage.

Attempts to cull these would-be slave catchers won’t mean much as long as billions of dollars flow into their military-grade arsenal, paid furloughs for violent criminals, and payouts for police brutality. As most police budgets increase steadily, it does not solve more violent crimes. Instead, it funds the misdemeanor arrests used to disproportionately harass black people in over-policed ​​communities.

Concerns about the risks of defund the police ring hollow as cities continue to fund institutions and resources that actually prevent crime, such as public education, mental health facilities, addiction treatment programs and affordable housing. It’s no coincidence that the safest neighborhoods generally have the least police presence and the most government investment.

The ban on neck restraints and the no-knock warrants that killed George Floyd and Amir Locke are necessary changes. However, they only address the symptoms and not the root causes of state violence and criminality.

Leave a Comment