Minneapolis police have engaged in a pattern of race discrimination for at least a decade, including stopping and arresting Black people at a higher rate than white people, says Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
Minneapolis state police have engaged in a pattern of race discrimination for at least a decade, including stopping and arresting Black people at a higher rate than white people, using force more often on people of color and maintaining a culture where racist language is tolerated, an investigation has shown.
The probe by the US state was launched after George Floyd's killing and its report was released on Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which said the police use an illegal "pattern or practice of race discrimination."
The report said the agency and the American city would negotiate a court-enforceable agreement to address the long list of problems identified in the report, with input from residents, officers, city staff and others.
The report said police department data "demonstrates significant racial disparities with respect to officers' use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests."
And it said officers "used covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organisations, unrelated to criminal activity, and maintain an organisational culture where some officers and supervisors use racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language with impunity."
"They call Black individuals '(n-word) and 'monkeys' and call Black women 'Black b****es,'" according to the report. "One MPD supervisor referred to Somali men as 'orangutans.'
"Community members reported examples of MPD officers calling Latino individuals 'beaners,'" the study continued, and "called fellow Black MPD officers 'nappy head' and 'cattle.'"
Human rights commissioner Rebecca Lucero said during a news conference after the report was released that it doesn't single out any officers or city leaders.
"This investigation is not about one individual or one incident," Lucero said.
Campaigners call report 'historic'
The report noted the city and police department "do not need to wait to institute immediate changes to begin to address the causes of discrimination that weaken the City's public safety system and harm community members."
It listed several steps that the city can take now, including implementing stronger internal oversight to hold officers accountable for their conduct, better training, and better communication with the public about critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings.
National civil rights attorney Ben Crump and his partners, who won a $27 million settlement from the city for the Floyd family, called the report "historic" and "monumental in its importance."
They said they were "grateful and deeply hopeful" that change is imminent.
Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, called the finding "obvious."
"The findings were no surprise, but now there's an agency with the muscle to make those changes happen," Gross said.
She said a critical next step is who will monitor a consent decree to make sure changes actually happen, and said she would demand that community members take part. Gross said she was meeting on Thursday with Lucero's department and that monitoring a decree would top her agenda.
George Floyd's killing
The Department of Human Rights launched its investigation barely a week after Floyd's death on May 25, 2020.
Then-Officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to pin the Black man to the pavement for 9 1/2 minutes in a case that sparked protests around the world against police racism and brutality.
Chauvin, who is white, was convicted last spring of murder.
Three other fired officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — were convicted this year of violating Floyd's civil rights in a federal trial and they face a state trial starting in June.