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Justice department to probe Minneapolis policing

Merrick Garland.  

The Department of Justice is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after a former officer was convicted in the killing of George Floyd there, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Wednesday.

The decision comes a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May, setting off a wave of relief across the country.

‘Pattern or practice’

The new investigation is known as a “pattern or practice” — examining whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing — and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire police department and may result in major changes to policing there.

It 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 behavioural health issues and will assess the department’s current systems of accountability, Mr. Garland said.

It’s unclear whether the years under investigation will begin when Floyd died or before. Mr. Garland said a public report would be issued, if the department finds a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing.

The department could also bring a lawsuit against the police department, which in the past have typically ended in settlement agreements or consent decrees to force changes.

The Minneapolis Police Department is also being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which is looking into the department’s policies and practices over the last decade to see if it engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 3:53:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/justice-department-to-probe-minneapolis-policing/article34379244.ece

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