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DOJ Launches Major Probe into Minneapolis Police Dept After Derek Chauvin Convicted of Murder

04-21-2021
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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a major probe into the Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

A day after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Department of Justice is investigating whether the Minneapolis police engaged in a pattern of unlawful policing. 

Garland says this new investigation will go beyond the death of Floyd to examine if the department routinely uses excessive force or discriminatory practices.

"Change cannot wait," Garland said at a press conference Wednesday. 

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As part of this "pattern-or-practice probe," the department will interview officers and members of the community about the police force.

"Yesterday's verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis," continued Garland. 

News of the probe came as Chauvin began his first full day in a Minnesota prison after he was found guilty on all three counts. 

Chauvin will be sentenced in about eight weeks and faces up to forty years in prison. He's currently being held in a single cell under administrative segregation for his safety.

The three other officers facing charges in Floyd's death will likely be tried together in August. Their charges are aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. 

After eleven long months, Floyd's family celebrated the verdict Tuesday.  

"I'm going to put up a fight every day because I'm not just fighting for George anymore. I'm fighting for everybody around this world," said Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd. "Today, we are able to breathe again."

In March, Floyd's family reached a historic $27 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis in a wrongful death lawsuit.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris telephoned Floyd's family immediately after the verdict.

"Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice," said Biden. "I think of Gianna's comment, my daddy is going to change the world, he's going to start to change it now." 

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