A newly released report commissioned by the state of Minnesota in the wake George Floyd's murder lends even more credence to activists' claims of racist policing in Minneapolis.
The report, released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, said there’s "probable cause" to believe Minneapolis and its police force "engage in a pattern or practice of race discrimination" in violation of state law.
The report said investigators reached their conclusions after reviewing around 700 hours of video recorded by police body cameras, viewing thousands of city and police documents, conducting ride-alongs with officers, watching officer training videos, and interviewing various police officials.
The specific violations they found are incredibly disturbing and, if you’ve been listening to Black Minneapolitans, unsurprising:
- The report found racial disparities in how Minneapolis police officers “use force, stop, search, arrest, and cite people of color, particularly Black individuals, compared to white individuals in similar circumstances.” That matches up with claims Black people in Minneapolis made during the 2020 protests, and those claims had already been backed up by studies from years prior.
- Minneapolis police officers also use “covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organizations, unrelated to criminal activity,” according to the report. That revelation also matches up with news reports and claims from activists and organizers in the wake of Floyd’s murder.
- The report also found that Minneapolis police officers engaged in a “consistent use of racist, misogynistic, and disrespectful language.” Those allegations have been known for decades and even appeared in a 2007 lawsuit filed against the department by Black Minneapolis police officers. The suit was eventually settled.
It’s important that we loudly affirm just how right the Black people decrying Minneapolis’ racist policing practices have been. The state of Minnesota confirmed what protesters have long said and what conservatives have long denied: Minneapolis police have been the truly lawless actors in this scenario.