DOJ: Rampant Violence, Racism in Minneapolis PD Led to George Floyd’s Murder

The Division of Justice has launched a scathing, 89-page report of the Minneapolis Police Division performed after the police homicide of George Floyd, shedding mild on the tradition of illegal police violence and rampant racism that laid the groundwork for Floyd’s homicide three years in the past.

The report, launched Friday, finds that the Minneapolis Police Division, known as MPD within the report, has “systemic issues” and that officers often endanger the general public and unlawfully deprive individuals of their rights. The report then cites officers’ use of extreme power, racism towards Black and Native American individuals, discrimination towards these needing assist in requires psychological well being help, and violations of the rights of protesters and people engaged in protected speech.

“For years, MPD used harmful methods and weapons towards individuals who dedicated at most a petty offense and typically no offense in any respect,” the report says.

“MPD used power to punish individuals who made officers indignant or criticized the police. MPD patrolled neighborhoods otherwise based mostly on their racial composition and discriminated based mostly on race when looking, handcuffing, or utilizing power towards individuals throughout stops. The Metropolis despatched MPD officers to behavioral health-related 911 calls, even when a legislation enforcement response was not acceptable or obligatory, typically with tragic outcomes,” the report continues.

These patterns characterize a litany of violations of the general public’s constitutional rights, the report finds.

These issues are evident at practically each step of MPD’s system of legislation enforcement, from police coaching and supervision to enforcement and accountability, the report discovered. These findings had been gathered based mostly on proof from paperwork, physique digicam footage, incident recordsdata, ride-alongs with officers and different metropolis employees and residents, and extra.

The report is extremely damning and reinforces what abolitionist activists have lengthy mentioned about policing within the U.S.: that violence and racist repression will not be restricted to the mindset of particular person cops, however quite are a built-in characteristic of the legislation enforcement system.

MPD officers often use extreme power, “usually when no power is important,” and “usually forg[o] significant de-escalation ways” so as to extract compliance and subdue individuals, which is prohibited, the DOJ discovered.

Officers reviewed a number of circumstances through which MPD used lethal power through which there wasn’t even an obvious menace. In 2017, an MPD officer shot by means of an open automotive window and killed an unarmed girl who had referred to as 911 to report a doable sexual assault when she approached their squad automotive. As soon as, an officer fired his gun at a automotive filled with six individuals who had been being instructed by police to show round after the automotive backed into his squad automotive. One other time, a person who was a suspect in a capturing was stabbing himself within the neck in an interrogation room within the police station. When apprehended by two officers, they shot at him 4 instances, hitting him twice, whereas he had his palms within the air.

The report additionally paperwork MPD officers’ behavior of utilizing neck restraints, equally to how ex-MPD officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Officers used neck restraints in not less than 198 encounters between January 2016 and August 2022, and the vast majority of these restraints had been “unreasonable,” the DOJ discovered. In 44 of those encounters, police didn’t even make an arrest.

The DOJ reviewed one occasion through which cops confronted a Black 14-year-old boy in response to a name from a mom who mentioned her kids assaulted her. The boy was mendacity on the ground enjoying together with his telephone and moved away when police stepped ahead to arrest him. In response, Derek Chauvin, who was one of many officers responding to the decision, repeatedly struck the kid within the head with a flashlight, pinned him to the wall by his throat, and proceeded to kneel on his again or neck for over quarter-hour.

{The teenager} survived, however MPD management didn’t even know that the incident had occurred till Chauvin murdered Floyd three years later.

The report additional particulars quite a few violent and reckless patterns of habits by MPD officers, together with the extreme use of tasers, the usage of power towards people who find themselves restrained, continuous failure to manage medical assist to individuals in custody, and the frequent use of pepper spray, which the police used particularly steadily to repress the uprisings towards police brutality that sprung up in response to Floyd’s homicide in 2020.

The report additionally particulars the rampant racism of MPD. Officers cease Black and Native American individuals in visitors stops with disproportionate frequency, the report finds: Adjusted for the share of the inhabitants, for each one white individual stopped between November 2016 and August 2022, MPD stopped seven Black individuals and eight Native Individuals.

This hole will increase considerably when contemplating the charges of the usage of power; for each one white one who skilled some type of power from MPD between January 2016 and August 2022, 9 Black individuals and 14 Native American individuals had been topic to power.

After scrutiny of MPD elevated considerably instantly following Floyd’s demise, a big portion of the police stopped accumulating race information in experiences, the report finds. Earlier than Floyd was murdered on Could 25, 2020, about 71 p.c of day by day experiences had race information included. Instantly after, this decreased to 35 p.c.

Interviews with MPD officers and group members unveiled quite a few overtly racist remarks, together with one officer who allegedly mentioned that police “are going to be sure to and all the Black Lives supporters are wiped off the face of the Earth,” and racist decorations on a Christmas tree within the foyer of 1 precinct.

These violations solely continued when individuals rose up in protest towards these very behaviors, and the report particulars 4 completely different violations of the First Modification simply from their actions towards protesters and journalists documenting protests. Throughout the George Floyd protests in 2020, the report paperwork one officer saying “You hit him! Good!” to a fellow officer who hit fleeing protesters with rubber bullets.

One other time, in response to a name a couple of disturbance by a school social gathering, police put a 19-year-old in a neck restraint and pulled him into the police automotive after {the teenager} mentioned “fuck the police” as he walked previous two officers. “Hopefully you may inform your folks while you say, ‘Fuck the police,’ now you perceive that’s truly not authorized until you’re in a riot or a show of protest,” the officer mentioned, outright mendacity in regards to the protections supplied underneath the First Modification whereas purporting to implement the legislation.

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