WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis after a former officer was convicted within the killing of George Floyd there, Attorney General Merrick Garland introduced Wednesday.
The announcement comes a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of homicide and manslaughter in Floyd’s dying final May, setting off a wave of relief but also sadness throughout the nation. The Black man’s dying prompted months of mass protests against policing within the U.S.
The Justice Department is already investigating whether or not Chauvin and the opposite officers concerned in Floyd’s dying violated his civil rights.
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” Garland stated.
The investigation introduced Wednesday is called a “pattern or practice” — analyzing whether or not there’s a sample or apply of unconstitutional or illegal policing — and will probably be a extra sweeping probe of the whole police division and will lead to main adjustments to policing there
It will study practices utilized by police, together with use of drive and drive used throughout protests, and whether or not the division engages in discriminatory practices. It may also look into the division’s dealing with of misconduct allegations and its therapy of individuals with behavioral well being points and can assess the division’s present programs of accountability, Garland stated.
It’s unclear whether or not the years underneath investigation will start when Floyd died or earlier than.
Floyd, 46, was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 invoice for a pack of cigarettes at a nook market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police once they tried to place him in a squad automotive. They put him on the bottom as a substitute.
The centerpiece of the case was bystander video of Floyd, handcuffed behind his again, gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe,” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to cease because the officer pressed his knee on or near Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was about 9 1/2 minutes, together with a number of minutes after Floyd’s respiration had stopped and he had no pulse.
Floyd’s dying May 25 turned a flashpoint within the nationwide dialog concerning the deaths of Black Americans by the hands of regulation enforcement and sparked worldwide protests.
At trial, Chauvin’s defense attorney persistently instructed Chauvin’s knee wasn’t on Floyd’s neck for so long as prosecutors argued, suggesting as a substitute it was throughout Floyd’s again, shoulder blades and arm.
The resolution to announce a sweeping Justice Department investigation comes as President Joe Biden has promised his administration wouldn’t relaxation following the jury’s verdict within the case. In a Tuesday night speech, he stated far more wanted to be executed.
“‘I can’t breathe.’ Those were George Floyd’s last words,” Biden stated. “We can’t let those words die with him. We have to keep hearing those words. We must not turn away. We can’t turn away.”
The Justice Department had beforehand thought of opening a sample or apply investigation into the police division quickly after Floyd’s dying, however then-Attorney General Bill Barr was hesitant to take action on the time, fearing that it may trigger additional divisions in regulation enforcement amid widespread protests and civil unrest, three individuals aware of the matter informed the AP.
Forliti contributed to this report from Minneapolis.
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