Story at a glance

  • The department enforces the Minnesota Human Rights Act, as it applies to discrimination in employment, housing, public services and other domains.
  • Walz said the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will investigate the department’s policies, procedures and practices over the past 10 years to “determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.”
  • George Floyd died after a former Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident has sparked widespread outrage.

The state of Minnesota has filed a human rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department in connection to the death of George Floyd. 

During a news conference Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced he has directed the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to carry out a thorough investigation after filing a formal discrimination complaint against the state’s largest police department. 


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The department enforces the Minnesota Human Rights Act, as it applies to discrimination in employment, housing, public services and other domains. While mediation is one of the department’s primary tools, cases can lead to broader investigations and sometimes end up in litigation, the Associated Press (AP) reports. 

Walz said the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will investigate the department’s policies, procedures and practices over the past 10 years to “determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.” 

“My administration will use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in Minnesota,” Walz said. “This effort is one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with communities that have been unseen and unheard for far too long.” 

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after he was detained by several police officers. Video showing one of the officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded with the officer that he couldn’t breathe sparked widespread outrage and days of demonstrations across the country. While most demonstrations have remained peaceful, some have devolved into acts of looting and violence overnight. 

The officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, and he could potential face more charges. 

Three other officers who helped detain Floyd were also fired, but have yet to be charged in his death at this time. Protesters have demanded the three be taken into custody and charged in the case.

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Published on Jun 02, 2020