US Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce that the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis a day after a former officer was convicted in the killing of George Floyd.
The announcement comes after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death last May, setting off a wave of relief but also sadness across the country. The Black man’s death prompted months of mass protests against policing in the US.
The Justice Department is already investigating whether Chauvin and the other officers involved in Floyd’s death violated his civil rights. The investigation being announced Wednesday is known as a “pattern or practice” and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department and may result in major changes to policing there, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person had direct knowledge of the matter but was not authorized to speak publicly about the upcoming announcement, planned for Wednesday morning.
The investigation will examine practices used by police, including the use of force, and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices, according to the person. It will also look into the department’s handling of misconduct allegations among other things, the person said. It’s unclear whether the years under investigation will begin when Floyd died or before.
The Justice Department had no comment.