The Minneapolis City Council is expected to hold an emergency hearing on Friday to vote on immediate reform within the city’s police department.
The meeting was called on Thursday after Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero filed discrimination charges on Monday against the Minneapolis Police Department after George Floyd‘s death.
Floyd, 46, was seen on a 10-minute cellphone video on May 25 pleading with former officers David Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng, telling him that he could not breathe as Chauvin’s knee pressed against the back of his neck.
“I believe there is sufficient information to investigate whether the respondent utilizes systemic discriminatory patterns or practices towards people of color, specifically Black community members, on the basis of race and in the area of public services,” wrote Lucero in the “charge of discrimination” document.
After all four were fired from the police department, Chauvin was the first to get charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
In Chauvin’s arrest warrant documents, it read that Chauvin continuously pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as Lane held down his legs and Kueng held down his back. Thao stood nearby with both of his hands in his pockets, the video shows.
The state’s attorney general took over the case and amended the charges against Chauvin to include second-degree murder. Thao, Kueng and Lane were also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Lucero says this investigation should look at Floyd’s death and other similar cases over the last 10 years to determine if any training, policies, procedures, practices were “unlawful race-based policing, which deprives people of color, particularly Black community members, of their civil rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.”
The meeting is expected to vote on “quick changes” as the investigation progresses, ultimately resulting in a consent decree from the courts that will require change, said Lucero, who was appointed to the position in January 2019 by Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat.
The investigation is backed by many local elected officials, including Walz, the City Council and Justin Terrell, the executive director from the Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage.
“We urge the state to hold its full weight to hold the Minneapolis Police Department accountable for any and all abuse of power and harms to our community and stand ready to aid in this process as full partners,” said the city council in a statement.
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