Posted on June 18, 2023

DOJ Probe Into Minneapolis Police Finds Racial Discrimination and Excessive Force

Ryan J. Reilly, NBC, June 16, 2023

A federal investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, launched in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd, found that the police department and the city itself engage in a “pattern or practice” of excessive force and racial discrimination that violates both the United States Constitution and federal law.

The so-called pattern-or-practice investigation — like the federal investigations into police departments in cities including Baltimore; Ferguson, Missouri; and, most recently, Louisville, Kentucky — focused on widespread issues within the police department rather than individual incidents.

The Minneapolis Police Department, the probe found, “uses excessive force, including unjustified deadly force and other types of force”; “unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American people in its enforcement activities”; “violates the rights of people engaged in protected speech”; and discriminates against people with behavioral health issues.

As was the case in several other cities, the DOJ investigation found “persistent deficiencies in MPD’s accountability systems, training, supervision, and officer wellness programs,” which contributed to the constitutional violations.


The report acknowledged “the considerable daily challenges” of being a police officer who “must often make split-second decisions and risk their lives to keep their communities safe.” The report said that officers “work hard to provide vital services” and said that many officers spoke about their “deep connection” to the city and their desire to see the police department do better.

“Still, since the spring of 2020, hundreds of MPD officers have left the force, and the morale of the remaining officers is low,” the report stated. {snip}