On Tuesday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced that they have filed a human rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who pressed his knee firmly into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has since been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the three remaining officers who assisted Chauvin in the murder have not been charged in the case.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights enforces the state’s human rights act, investigating cases of discrimination in public service and accommodations, employment, housing, and education.
Allegations of discrimination and police brutality against African Americans have plagued the Minneapolis Police Department for decades. Ironically, the first black police chief, who took the position in 2017, was one of five black officers that sued the department in 2007 over racially motivated discrimination in promotions, pay, and discipline. The city settled the lawsuit for $740,000.
Floyd’s shocking death on May 25th, which was documented on video, has sparked international protests and calls for justice.