The U.S. Justice Department has begun a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced today.
The announcement comes a day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for killing George Floyd.
The former police officer’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.
The probe will examine the practices and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department, elevating the federal government’s role.
During remarks at Justice Department headquarters, Garland said the civil investigation would determine whether “Minneapolis police engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.”
He said the civil probe will examine whether the Minneapolis police have engaged in excessive force, discriminatory conduct or abused those with mental or physical disabilities.
The Trump administration had opened a federal civil rights investigation in the case days after Floyd, a Black man, died last May after Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was prone on his stomach.
Garland said in a statement late Tuesday that criminal probe is ongoing.
“Nothing can fill the void the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death,” Garland said.
“My heart goes out to them and to all those who have experienced similar loss.”