MINNEAPOLIS (AP/Nexstar) – The state of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint Tuesday against the Minneapolis Police Department in the death of George Floyd.
Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
A video of Floyd in his last moments appears to show his death on-camera, caused by a Minneapolis officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving.
The viral video of Floyd’s death, shot by a bystander, has sparked protests around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved were also fired, but have not been charged.
The Department of Human Rights enforces the state’s Human Rights Act, particularly as it applies to discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, and public services. Mediation is one of its first-choice tools, but the cases it files can lead to fuller investigations that sometimes end up in litigation.
The Minneapolis Police Department has faced decades of allegations of brutality and discrimination against black people, and other minorities and people of color, even within the department itself. Critics say its culture resists change, despite the elevation of Medaria Arradondo as its first black Police Chief in 2017.
Arradondo himself was among five black officers who sued the police department in 2007 over alleged discrimination in promotions, pay, and discipline. They said in their lawsuit that the department had a history of tolerating racism and discrimination. The city eventually settled the lawsuit for $740,000.
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