Minneapolis officials respond to MDHR findings

City leaders responded to findings from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigation into the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Police Department that found that they do practice discriminatory behavior.

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Minneapolis officials responded to a recently released report from the Minnesota Department of Human Resources that found that City officials and the Minneapolis Police Department engage in a pattern or practice of race discrimination.

The MDHR investigation launched June 1, 2020, after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020. City leaders received a high-level briefing of the findings this morning and are digesting its findings.

“This report raises incredibly serious concerns from over the past 10 years, and like many in the community — I am outraged,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Since the announcement of this investigation we have not been idle. We’ve moved swiftly to address the culture of the department and move forward on police reforms, but more must be done. The issues in this report are unacceptable. They also do not reflect the character and mindset of every police officer in the force. This report reinforces our need to double-down even further to shift the culture in our police department, to hold up and hire community-oriented officers, and hold those accountable who fall short of our Minneapolis values.”

Mayor Frey and MPD have initiated many reforms in recent years, but City leaders acknowledged a culture shift within the department is crucial to achieving meaningful change.

Minneapolis City Hall at Government Plaza. Photo by Tony Webster

“As a Black woman, none of this comes as a surprise to me,” said City Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw, chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee. “I am committed to working with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Mayor Frey, my Council colleagues, the community, and MPD to implement much-needed reform.”

In addition to the State of Minnesota investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice also has an ongoing pattern or practice investigation into the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department. The investigation will assess all types of force used by MPD officers, including uses of force involving individuals with behavioral health disabilities and uses of force against individuals engaged in activities protected by the First Amendment. The investigation will also assess whether MPD engages in discriminatory policing. The DOJ launched the investigation after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd’s murder on April 20, 2021.

“We have to do the work to make sure every City employee is anti-racist and contributes to a culture that is anti-racist,” said Interim Civil Rights Director Alberder Gillespie. “Our City enterprise has to ensure that we are protecting the civil and human rights of every single member of our community. We will use the findings of this report to further inform the work ahead.”

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