US launches probe of Minneapolis police after Chauvin conviction

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jury's verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice, in Washington, DC US on April 21 2021.
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jury's verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice, in Washington, DC US on April 21 2021.
Image: Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday launched a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis following a jury's verdict that former city police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd.

The probe "will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests," Garland told a news conference.

Chauvin's conviction was a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement's treatment of Black Americans.

Garland has previously said he will make cracking down on police misconduct a priority.

President Joe Biden called the conviction of Chauvin a "giant step" toward justice in the United States.

The Justice Department previously announced an investigation into whether the officers involved in Floyd's death violated his civil rights.

The Justice Department on Friday withdrew a policy put in place during former President Donald Trump's administration that limited the tools the federal government could use to monitor and probe police misconduct.

Garland, in a memo to staff, said the department would return to its traditional practices of investigating state and local police departments, allowing unit heads to approve most settlements and consent decrees.

Reuters


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