Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

DOJ to announce Minneapolis police probe

Derek Chauvin booking Derek Chauvin's bail was revoked and he is now in police custody Credit AFP
Sandy Nunez | 21 April, 2021, 17:53

Garland, in a memo to staff, said the department would return to its traditional practices of investigating state and local police departments, allowing unit heads to approve most settlements and consent decrees.

"Today's outcome in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis does not undo the loss of life", the National Football League said.

After the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was announced, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed her gratitude for "justice" - by thanking George Floyd for "sacrificing" his life.

Last week, Garland revoked a Trump-era memo that made it more hard for the Justice Department's civil rights lawyers to reach consent decrees with state and local governments over policing practices, and to seek court approval for independent monitors to check whether police departments were honoring the terms of settlements.

"If the Justice Department concludes that there's reasonable cause to believe there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing, we will issue a public report of our conclusions", he said.

People celebrate after the verdict is announced in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C
Another potential point of appeal could be media coverage and protests Credit Eric Lee /Bloomberg

The official had direct knowledge of the matter but was not authorized to speak publicly about the upcoming announcement, planned for Wednesday morning.

The probe "will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests", Garland told a news conference. It will also look into the department´s handling of misconduct allegations among other things, the person said.

On May 25, 2020, a video captured the 45-year-old Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck, while he was in a prone position, for more than 9 minutes even while Floyd insisted numerous times that he could not breathe.

The decision comes as President Joe Biden has promised his administration would not rest following the jury's verdict in the case.

But he says the trial underlines how much work remains to be done to combat systemic racism. 'We can´t let those words die with him. We can´t turn away'.

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