Minnesota Department of Human Rights Investigation
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) is a state agency whose mission is to protect the civil rights of all Minnesotans through enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination. Its Commissioner, Rebecca Lucero, is appointed by the governor.
On June 2, 2020 MDHR filed a civil rights charge against the MPD and launched an investigation following the death of George Floyd. Its purpose is to determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices toward people of color and ensure such practices are stopped. This is the first time that the state has launched an investigation into discrimination of the largest police department in the state. It has made an online form available to the public for citizens to share any relevant experiences about the MPD. The investigation is ongoing. Once completed, its determination will be public. If discrimination is found to have occurred, the MDHR will work with the City of Minneapolis and the MPD to change policies and procedures.
In conjunction with this investigation, a Hennepin County Court on June 8, 2020 issued an order proposed by MDHR mandating the City of Minneapolis to implement these measures:
- Chokeholds were immediately banned;
- Police officers have a duty to intervene if another officer uses unauthorized force;
- Use of crowd control weapons during protests/demonstrations must be approved to be used by the Chief of Police
- Timely and transparent disciplinary decisions for police officers must be made;
- Body camera footage may be audited by the MDCR;
The order directed any person who witnesses or experiences a violation of the order to contact the MDCR.
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