Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA – Community leaders in Minneapolis called for greater accountability for police brutality and more direct action from protesters on Wednesday after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced reported investigating the city police department the day after a former officer was found guilty of killing George Floyd, a black man.
On growing businesses across the city, the images are posted on Floyd, as well Daunte Wright and Philando Castile, Black men were also killed by the police, a reminder of the scale of the challenge. Wright was shot earlier this month, while Castile was killed in 2017.
“We need a real investigation, not any public relations or consultation,” Michelle Gross, head of the Community Against the Brutalism of the Police (CUAPB) told Al Jazeera.
Gross drove to the post office in late March to send a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, resulting in investigation.
“They always want to talk about building trust in law enforcement. Belief is not the goal. Be accountable. “
People on the streets in Minneapolis celebrate watching the conviction of Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes and mood in the US Midwestern town improved.
A former Minneapolis police officer, Chauvin was convicted on three crimes – second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter – in the murder of Floyd in May last year. The entire incident was filmed by a young man standing outside and sparked protests against racism in the US and around the world.
Need to be accountable
Gross wants to see more allegations of police abuse, saying that about 465 cases since 2000 in which an officer involved in a murder needs to be reopened.
Total score for the police office review conducted, that Minneapolis uses to track police complaints. Since its establishment eight years ago, it has received 3,434 complaints.
“They disciplined 20 of them. That’s a 0.58 percent discipline rate, ”she said in a hotel room across from the Hennepin County Government Center.
The hotel room serves as the interim headquarters of CUAPB, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN) and other organizations working for law enforcement reform.
After news of the investigation was released, the representatives had hurried conversations about press releases and claims.
Johnathon McClellan, president of the Minnesota Judiciary Coalition, said he was concerned the investigation was just for show.
“I think the amount of work it takes to get the message out and get the help we need,” he told Al Jazeera, “said it all.”
“It was not immediately implemented by the government [President Joe Biden] has entered the office. “
McClellan worries that the Justice Department does not want to mention the “core” of the Minneapolis Police Department, which he deems “rotten.”
The twin city area, which includes Saint Paul, the Brooklyn Center and other cities, has many police departments brutalizing communities of color, he accused.
Without addressing the “core” of regional rulership, people of color will continue to experience the “level of fear … that they saw in the case of Daunte Wright.”
Okay, 20 years old, was killed on April 11 after he was pulled over by a white officer Kim Potter in the Brooklyn Center.
The city’s sheriff said the shooting was an “accidental shootings” and Potter drew a gun rather than a gun while stopping the car frantically.
Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, but organizers say the charge should be upgraded to murder.
The Department of Justice investigation, known as a “patterned or customary” investigation, is supposed to look beyond individual incidents to evaluate systematic failures and will allow DOJ to “determine if the department whether the police form or practice an unconstitutional or illegal policy ”. Garland said when announcing the investigation.
It will also consider whether the city police form or practice the use of excessive force, including during protests and engaging in discriminatory practices. There will also be a comprehensive review of its policies, including training, use of force investigation and accountability mechanisms.
The review could lead to big changes but McClellan says that will only happen if local groups continue to pressure.
Gross, who has worked on police responsibility for decades, agrees.
“We have to make sure this is not a public relations opportunity,” she said.