The Department of Justice took two years to discover what Black people said for generations: the Minneapolis Police Department is incompetent at best and a racist terrorist organization at worst.
The DOJ had to observe an infamous chapter of the United States’ biggest gang to believe it. The AP reports the Justice Department finally exposed that Minneapolis police “systematically discriminated against racial minorities, violated constitutional rights and disregarded the safety of people in custody for years before George Floyd was killed.”
As Black and Indigenous people in Minneapolis have been saying for about…60 years. https://t.co/HPFNjDUA4X
— ashley fairbanks (@ziibiing) June 16, 2023
When people dismiss corrupt cops as a few “bad apples,” they usually ignore that the rest of the phrase says they inevitably “spoil the whole bunch.” According to findings about the Minneapolis police’s practices, it’s rotten to the root.
The Justice Department issued a scathing assessment of Minneapolis police, alleging that racial discrimination and excessive force went unchecked because of inadequate oversight and an unwieldy process for investigating complaints. https://t.co/wcZQkvpYXG
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 17, 2023
The day after former Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for George Floyd’s murder, the DOJ launched an investigation into the department. Attorney General Merrick Garland recognized the few exceptions before announcing that “the patterns and practices we observed made what happened to George Floyd possible.”
Today’s DOJ report would not be necessary in a city that listened to its residents. There’s nothing in here that is a surprise to Black and Indigenous people in Minneapolis, because it has been a daily reality for decades.https://t.co/yfSIDkdpwz
— Robin4mpls (@robin4mpls) June 16, 2023
Officers regularly endangered the lives of people in their custody. We’ve already seen the unwritten rule of engagement when it comes to people in custody struggling to breathe. The standard police response, including in Floyd’s final moments, was often some variation of “You can breathe. You’re talking right now.”
Abolish the Minneapolis police dept once and for all. It’s time residents cut the purse strings on this rabid corruption. https://t.co/syLXRIisjd
— peoplepowerpodcast (@peoplepowerpod1) June 16, 2023
The cowards in blue regularly abused their power to racially profile Black and Native communities. Cops frequently terrorized innocent victims with “dangerous techniques and weapons” for petty reasons like criticizing the police or no reason at all. After Floyd’s death sparked uprisings against police brutality and racism, cops retaliated against protestors and journalists.
MPD officers pepper sprayed people in apparent retaliation for observing, questioning or criticizing police activity, in violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. An officer sprayed 2 bystanders to a suicide call after they questioned what officers were doing.
— Deena Winter (@deenafaywinter) June 16, 2023
Driving while Black was all it took to experience traffic stops 6.5 times more than whites. For Native Americans, it was 7.9 times more frequent. According to the U.S. Census, only 18.4% of Minneapolis is Black and 1.3% is American Indian and Alaska Native.
AG Garland just quoted from video I obtained through a lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department, when an officer told Somali American teens he was proud U.S. troops killed ‘you folk’ during Black Hawk Down. My earlier reporting for @SahanJournal: https://t.co/E562kMBTTh
— Tony Webster (@webster) June 16, 2023
The report revealed Minneaplolis officers applied neck restraints like the one that killed Floyd 198 times between Jan. 1 2o16, and Aug. 16, 2022. They even continued to use them after they were banned due to his murder.
Since 2019, Minneapolis police have accrued over $70 million in payouts. That’s almost enough to buy an entire cop city. It’s interesting how they’ll say they need more money, while hemorrhaging tax dollars in civil suit payouts. pic.twitter.com/5bNeufizMu
— Toussaint Morrison (@2santMorrison) June 15, 2023
Mental health crises more likely end with assaults and arrests than the emergency mental health care they actually need.
Change Is On The Horizon In Minneapolis, But Police Reform Is Just The Beginning Of What Cities Need To Be Safer
The civil rights investigation reviewed documents, body camera footage, and data collected from the city and police. In addition to monitoring Minneapolis PD from 2021 – 2022, the review covered police practices and misconduct dating back to 2016. The DOJ also conducted ride-alongs and interviews with officers and residents. Findings from the review led to the city and police department agreeing to a consent decree.
44,000 Minneapolis neighbors voted to remove the Minneapolis Police from the city charter, something a scant few of them had even considered or would have voted for just a year prior. An incredible testament to the voice of the community.
— D.A. Bullock (@BullyCreative) June 17, 2023
Other cities like Baltimore, New Orleans, Chicago, Seattle and Ferguson also welcomed the supervision of a consent decree. The deal subjects police departments to federal oversight of reform efforts from an independent monitor and federal judge.
Gupta notes that consent decrees have led to lasting change, including fewer use of force incidents, in cities like Baltimore, etc. (9)
— Jon Collins (@JonSCollins) June 16, 2023
After years of getting away with literally shooting first and asking questions later, these reforms are long overdue. Key findings determined that Minneapolis cops often responded to mental health crises with lethal weapons and chokeholds.
“…she called 911[…], but it took 1.5 hrs for officers to arrive[…] When police showed up, ‘I was covered in blood but I think they didn’t think it was serious[…] He drove by while police were there, & I pointed him out, but they didn’t do anything.’”https://t.co/C5tqnSC9yI
— Mike Norton (@NortonMpls) June 16, 2023
Citizens filed complaints about incidents like holding a Black teen at gunpoint for a $5 burrito or threatening to “make sure you and all of the Black Lives supporters are wiped off the face of the Earth.” However, the corrupt cops conveniently clear themselves of wrongdoing without even reviewing evidence like camera footage.
If you care about police reform, mental health reform and public safety in Minneapolis and beyond, take a half hour and watch this! https://t.co/wPdyoITxXd
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) June 16, 2023
Attempts to reform these wannabe slave catchers won’t mean much as long as billions of dollars go towards their military-grade arsenal, paid leave for violent criminals, and payouts for police brutality. As most police budgets steadily increase, it doesn’t solve more violent crimes. Instead, it funds the misdemeanor arrests used to disproportionately harass Black people in overpoliced communities.
The city of Minneapolis is negotiating to get more money from the federal government to funnel to police, that is a travesty. More money and more resources to MPD has verifiably not helped them get better or reform.
— D.A. Bullock (@BullyCreative) June 16, 2023
Concerns about the risks of defunding police ring hollow as cities continue to defund institutions and resources that actually prevent crime, like public education, mental health facilities, drug treatment programs, and affordable housing. It’s no coincidence that the safest neighborhoods typically have the least police presence and the most government investment.
“Among the hardest-hit are Houston, where rates were 56% higher in April and 50% higher in May. In Minneapolis/St. Paul, rates rose 106% in March, 55% in April and 63% in May. Nashville was 35% higher and Phoenix 33% higher in May; Rhode Island was up 32% in May.” https://t.co/1kG9AfUHnK
— Reggie From Boston (@ReggieFromBOS) June 17, 2023
Banning the neck restraints and no-knock warrants that killed George Floyd and Amir Locke are necessary changes. However, they only address the symptoms and not the root causes of state violence and crime.