DOJ to investigate Minneapolis police

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday launched a sweeping investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

"The investigation I am announcing today will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests."

The probe comes a day after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murder in the deadly arrest of George Floyd.

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

Garland said investigators from the Justice Department's civil rights division and the U.S. Attorney's office in Minneapolis would lead the probe, looking at how the department uses force, trains officers, disciplines cops, and responds to civil unrest.

Civil rights groups cheered outside a Minneapolis courthouse yesterday Tuesday after a jury found Chauvin guilty on all counts relating to the death of 46-year-old Floyd.

Bystander video showed Chauvin driving his knee into Floyd's neck as he lay pinned, handcuffed, and pleading for his life for more than nine minutes in May last year.

Chauvin's conviction was a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement's treatment of African-Americans.

President Joe Biden called the verdict a "giant step" toward justice in the United States.

“No one should be above the law. And today's verdict sends that message. But it's not enough."

The MPD probe is Garland's first major action as attorney general after Biden vowed to address systemic racism in the United States.

The White House on Wednesday said Biden would use an address to a joint session of Congress next week to push for police reform legislation.

Video Transcript

MERRICK GARLAND: Like so many of you, I have closely watched the events in Minnesota.

- US Attorney General Merrick Garland, on Wednesday, launched a sweeping investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

MERRICK GARLAND: The investigation I am announcing today will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests.

- The probe comes a day after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, of murder in the deadly arrest of George Floyd.

MERRICK GARLAND: Yesterday's verdict in the State criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis.

- Garland said investigators from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney's Office in Minneapolis would lead the probe, looking at how the Department uses force, trains officers, disciplined cops, and responds to civil unrest.

CROWD: [INAUDIBLE].

Civil rights groups cheered outside a Minneapolis courthouse Tuesday after a jury found Chauvin guilty on all counts relating to the death of 46-year-old Floyd. Bystander videos showed Chauvin driving his knee into Floyd's neck, as he lay pinned, handcuffed and pleading for his life for more than 9 minutes in May of last year.

GEORGE FLOYD: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

- Chauvin's conviction was a milestone in the fraught racial history of the United States and a rebuke of law enforcement's treatment of African Americans.

- With the verdict today, I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders, but I know the work is not done.

JOE BIDEN: It was a murder in full light of day.

- President Joe Biden called the verdict a giant step toward justice in the United States.

JOE BIDEN: No one should be above the law, and today's verdict sends that message. But it's not enough.

- The NPD probe is Garland's first major action as attorney general after Biden vowed to address systemic racism in the United States.

JOE BIDEN: This can be a moment of significant change.

- The White House, on Wednesday, said Biden would use an address to a joint session of Congress next week to push for police reform legislation.