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MN Report Accuses Minneapolis Police of Longtime Racial Bias

The Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in race discrimination for at least a decade, including stopping and arresting Black people at a higher rate than whites, using force more often on people of color and maintaining a culture where racist language is tolerated, a state investigation found. The report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights of a probe started after George Floyd's death in 2020 said the agency and the city would negotiate a court-enforceable agreement to address a long list of problems, with input from residents, officers, city staff and others, the Associated Press reports. The report said police department data “demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers’ use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests.” It said officers “used covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organizations, unrelated to criminal activity, and maintain an organizational culture where some officers and supervisors use racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language with impunity.”


Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said the the report was released that it doesn’t single out any officers or city leaders. “This investigation is not about one individual or one incident,” she said. Asked how long a consent decree with the city might have to remain in force, Lucero said, “As long as it takes to do it right.” Consent decrees often remain in place for years. The report said the city and police department “do not need to wait to institute immediate changes to begin to address the causes of discrimination that weaken the City’s public safety system and harm community members.” It listed steps that the city can take, including stronger internal oversight to hold officers accountable for their conduct, better training, and better communication with the public about critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who won a $27 million settlement from the city for the Floyd family, called the report “historic” and “monumental in its importance.”

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