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Department of Human Rights to probe Minneapolis police for civil rights violations

Jun 02, 2020 02:49PM ● By Editor
Malaysia Hammond prays Sunday at one of several of the spontaneous memorials that have been built with flowers, murals and mementos at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the site where George Floyd died while on police custody.   Photo: Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

By MPR News Staff - St. Paul  - June 2, 2020

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Tuesday the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will thoroughly investigate the Minneapolis Police Department for civil rights violations in the wake of last week’s killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. 

The Department of Human Rights is expected to probe the last 10 years of Minneapolis police actions.

The investigation will put policies, procedures, training and practices of the Minneapolis police under scrutiny, said Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, noting that it is illegal for a police department to discriminate because of race. 

"This is one piece of the puzzle in getting justice for George Floyd,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. "It is one piece of the puzzle to holding all four officers accountable in George's murder and changing the culture."

The plan comes a day after the Hennepin County Medical Examiner described Floyd’s death as a homicide, saying Floyd went into cardiopulmonary arrest as a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on the neck of the prone, handcuffed man.

The office also identified “hypertensive heart disease,” “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use” as other “significant conditions.”

Floyd’s killing while in police custody sparked mass protests in Minnesota and across the country following after video surfaced of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin restraining Floyd as the man pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. 

A memorial service for Floyd is set for Thursday at North Central University in Minneapolis. The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy, and other family members plan to speak.

To read more of this story, follow this link to the Minnesota Public Radio News website.

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