US Investigation Uncovers Systemic Racism within Police Force Involved in George Floyd’s Death.

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A comprehensive review conducted by the US Justice Department has exposed a troubling pattern of violent and racist practices within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), three years after the murder of George Floyd, an African American man, by patrol officers. The report, released on Friday, documented numerous cases of unarmed and non-threatening individuals being subjected to excessive force, both before and after Floyd’s tragic death on May 25, 2020.

According to the findings, the MPD has a tendency to employ unjustified deadly force and unlawfully discriminate against Black and Native American individuals while enforcing the law. The report highlighted incidents such as the shooting of a woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault, as well as the case of a man already in custody who was stabbing himself.

Excessive force by the police, often resulting in fatal outcomes, was a recurring issue documented in the report. Floyd’s death, caused by a white police officer kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes while other officers stood by, triggered nationwide protests against police abuse and racial discrimination targeting African Americans. The incident intensified the scrutiny faced by police departments across the country.

In response to the report’s findings, Minneapolis has agreed to undergo a stringent oversight program implemented by the Justice Department, aimed at implementing necessary reforms. US Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that the study revealed a systematic violation of constitutional rights by the Minneapolis police, with Floyd’s death serving as a catalyst to bring this issue to the forefront.

Garland acknowledged the profound impact of Floyd’s loss on the Minneapolis community, the nation, and the world, stating that the pain continues to be deeply felt by those who knew and loved him, as well as by many who did not. He highlighted instances of Minneapolis police dismissing detainees’ complaints of breathlessness with dismissive comments like “You can breathe, you’re talking now,” further underscoring the disregard for human life exhibited by some officers.

The investigation also exposed a concerning pattern of inaction by the Minneapolis police when fellow officers engaged in excessive force, despite being obligated to intervene. Garland revealed that Chauvin, the officer responsible for Floyd’s death, had a history of using excessive force, and his colleagues failed to intervene on multiple occasions.

The data further revealed a significant disparity in the treatment of minorities by the police, with stops, searches, and the use of force disproportionately targeting Black and Native American individuals compared to their white counterparts. This deeply disturbing conduct erodes trust within the community and highlights the urgent need for reforms in law enforcement practices.

President Joe Biden echoed the gravity of the report’s findings, describing them as disturbing. He emphasized the pressing need for Congress to pass sensible reforms that foster public trust in policing and combat racial discrimination. The report serves as a reminder of the imperative to address systemic issues within the law enforcement system and work towards a more just and equitable society.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Punch newspaper

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