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BREAKING: Minnesota Department of Human Rights files civil rights charge against Minneapolis Police Department

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has announced that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights begin an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

Walz said the Department is filing a civil rights charge against the MPD due to the death of George Floyd. Video was posted online last week showing Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as he repeatedly pleaded for air and witnesses told Chauvin to stop. This sparked protests across the United States and abroad.

Chauvin was fired and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter and the investigation is ongoing. The other officers involved in the incident have been fired, and no charges have been announced against them so far.

According to a news release from Walz, the investigation into policies, procedures and practices over the past decade "will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped."

Walz said the investigation will be led by Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero.

“George Floyd should be alive. He deserved to live a life full of dignity and joy,” Lucero said in a news release. “Community leaders have been asking for structural change for decades. They have fought for this and it is essential that we acknowledge the work and commitment of those who have paved the path to make today’s announcement possible.”

“All of us agree that hate and discrimination should not be part of the fabric of this great state,” Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan said. “But the grief and anger of this past week did not emerge from a vacuum. This is about a culture that continues to go unchecked. We can and must choose to do better. George Floyd, and the state as a whole, deserves this of us.”

Department of Human Rights will reportedly "seek agreement from city leadership and the MPD to immediately implement interim measures in advance of long-term measures to address systemic discriminatory practices."

“Silence is complicity.  Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” Walz said in a news release. “As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say. It is going to take action at all levels from the neighborhood on up, to get the change we need to see. This effort is only one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with those in the community who have been unseen and unheard for far too long.”

Anyone with information that can further the investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department is asked to contact the Department of Human Rights at mn.gov/mdhr or call 651-539-1100.

Nicole Valinote

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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