The murder of George Floyd and the unrest that followed prompted several investigations. The reviews ranged from how Minneapolis and Minnesota leaders responded in the heat of a crisis to accusations that the Minneapolis Police Department has discriminated against Black residents for years. Here is where those investigations stand:
After-Action Review of the city of Minneapolis' response to unrest from May 25-June 3, 2020
- Performed by: Hillard Heintze, a security risk management firm, on behalf of the city.
- Released: March 8, 2022.
- Key findings: The city did not follow its own Emergency Operations Plan and failed to use the recommendations of after-action reports following other large-scale events — such as the sustained occupation of the 4th Precinct in 2015 in response to the death of Jamar Clark at the hands of police — to establish a framework for crisis response. Following the unrest, the police department changed policies related to force, but provided "little guidance or training" to officers.
- Recommendations: There were 27 in total. The police department was advised to rebuild trust with the community and within the agency, provide recurring training on First Amendment rights and crowd-control tactics and communicate with protest leaders to support peaceful protests as well as outline how officers will respond to violence. The city's Office of Emergency Management is supposed to provide quarterly reports to the mayor and council as implementation progresses.
- Link: https://lims.minneapolismn.gov/Download/RCAV2/26623/2020-Civil-Unrest-After-Action-Review-Report.pdf
Minnesota Department of Public Safety review of the state's response to civil unrest immediately following Floyd's death
- Performed by: Wilder Research
- Released: March 31, 2022
- Key findings: State and local law enforcement failed to quickly coordinate when riots broke out and response teams lacked "clear, experienced" leadership during unprecedented destruction. Law enforcement agencies on the ground used different approaches to handling crowds, sometimes working against each other. Interagency coordination improved after the Department of Public Safety established a Multi-Agency Command Center (MACC) at TCF Stadium four days after Floyd's death. For the first time, the Department of Transportation shut down several highways to combat unrest.
- Recommendations: Improve coordination and establish a clear chain of command among agencies to avoid a chaotic response. Participate in National Incident Management System training. Establish a rapid and secure communication system for agencies to talk to each other.
- Link: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/co/Documents/dps-external-review-report.pdf
Minnesota Department of Human Rights Investigation into the city of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department
- Released: April 27, 2022
- Findings: The city and police department engaged in a pattern of race discrimination in violation of the state Human Rights Act. There are racial disparities in how MPD uses force and arrests people of color, particularly Black people, compared to white people in similar circumstances. The department uses social media to surveil Black organizations, "unrelated to criminal activity." Officers consistency use racist, misogynistic and disrespectful language to engage with the public. These practices are instilled in a culture where supervisors and field training officers themselves receive poor training that emphasizes a "paramilitary approach" that leads to officers escalating encounters.
- Recommendations: MPD leaders should set clear performance expectations, hold officers uniformly accountable to them and conduct timely and non-biased investigations of misconduct complaints. MPD must swiftly improve the quality of its training, emphasizing that policing is a public service requiring respect and professionalism. The city and MPD representatives must provide the public with honest and accurate information when critical events, such as shootings, happen. The MN Department of Human Rights will work with the city to develop a consent decree, a court-enforceable agreement that lays out what changes must be made in a timely manner.
- Link: https://mn.gov/mdhr/assets/Investigation%20into%20the%20City%20of%20Minneapolis%20and%20the%20Minneapolis%20Police%20Department_tcm1061-526417.pdf
U.S. Department of Justice Investigation of the city of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department
- Announced: April 21, 2021
- Background: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the investigation will assess all types of force used by Minneapolis officers, including force against people engaged in First Amendment-protected activity. The Justice Department seeks to conduct a "comprehensive review" of police policies, training, systems of accountability, complaint intake, internal review and discipline. The findings are pending.