Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday that the Justice Department will soon begin an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

“The Justice Department has opened a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” Garland said in a Wednesday briefing.

Garland announced the investigation one day after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges in the case of George Floyd’s murder. The Justice Department is also holding a separate investigation into Chauvin specifically to see if he violated Floyd’s civil rights.


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Federal investigators hope to determine if the Minneapolis Police Department displays patterns of excessive force, discriminatory conduct and unlawful treatment of those suffering from mental health issues. The Justice Department will also look into the police department’s training and internal investigation protocol.

Garland said that Americans can look forward to a public report which they will release following the investigation. The Justice Department may also open a civil suit against the department which could result in a settlement or consent decree. Under former President Donald Trump, consent decrees were largely ignored, but the legal tool was often under during former President Barack Obama‘s terms to address police misconduct. Garland and President Joe Biden signal the return of the measure largely used to hold police and other institutions accountable for misconduct.

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