Following the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that his department will be conducting an investigation of the entire Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
Garland’s announcement on Wednesday follows President Joe Biden’s remarks about the Chauvin case, and his move to phone the family of George Floyd after the verdict. Biden reportedly said, “Feeling better now. Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice. We’re going to start to change now. We’re going to start to change now. … We’re going to get a lot more done.”
The Daily Wire reports that Garland began his statement with a mention of Floyd’s family, stating, “Although the state’s prosecution was successful, I know that nothing can fill the void that the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death. My heart goes out to them and to all those who have experienced similar loss. I know such wounds have deep roots and that too many communities have experienced those wounds firsthand.”
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” he added. Garland said that the investigation will be “staffed by experienced attorneys and other personnel from the Justice Department’s Civil Right Division and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota.”
“The investigation will also assess whether the MPD engages in discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful,” he said.
Garland warned that the Justice Department has the authority to hit the MPD with a civil lawsuit and ask a federal court to provide injunctive relief that orders the department to change its policies and practices to avoid further violation.
“The Department of Justice will be unwavering in its pursuit of equal justice under law. The challenges we face are deeply woven into our history; they did not arise today or last year. Building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us, but we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait,” he concluded.