Skip to main content

3 MN Republicans ask Department of Justice to investigate Minneapolis Police Department

They don't believe the state Department of Human Rights can conduct an unbiased investigation.

Three Minnesota Senate Republicans have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and its response to the unrest following George Floyd's death on May 25. 

Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) Sen. Bill Ingegrightsen (R-Alexandria) and Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester) wrote a letter to the Department of Justice Monday asking for a "practice-or-pattern" investigation, which is used in allegations of "serious patterns and practices of excessive force, biased policing, and other unconstitutional practices of law enforcement," a news release says.

The trio of Senators also held a news conference Tuesday announcing their request, with Sen. Newman saying talk from Minneapolis City Council members about dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department is "frightening." 

The letter states they're requesting the investigation because under the current circumstances, "we do not feel it is possible to protect the civil rights of the citizens of the city of Minneapolis" if the Minneapolis City Council follows through with its proposal.

The city council has embarked on a year-long study to investigate alternative strategies to public safety, crime prevention, and responses to emergency calls. MPD is fully functioning while this study is carried out.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is already conducting a civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd's killing, but the Republican senators don't believe it'll do so objectively.

“The Department of Justice has the resources and experience necessary to conduct a fair, thorough investigation on behalf of the city and our state,” Newman said, according to the release. “While the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has been ordered to conduct a similar inquiry, I do not believe that office has the proper resources, staffing, and training necessary for an objective investigation."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Newman said that comments from Department of Human Rights commissioner Rebecca Lucero in which she said there was "systemic racism" within the MPD should disqualify the department because it cannot conduct a "meaningful, unbiased investigation."

"The commissioner’s own comments have effectively disqualified her agency from conducting a meaningful, unbiased investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department," Newman added.

But the Department of Justice, which is expected to consider the senators' request in the coming weeks, has been heavily criticized under the leadership of Attorney General William Barr, who has worked closely with President Donald Trump and sought to protect him from political and legal attacks.

With Trump only backing minor reforms to police and having been heavily against a reduction of funding for or the dismantling of police departments, the suggestion that the DOJ investigates the MPD has been met with criticism from Minnesota DFLers, including one House staffer, who tweeted: 

Next Up

covid, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 21

Hospitalizations dipped from 1,629 Jan. 19 to 1,571 on Jan. 20.

minneapolis police

Shooting near University of Minnesota kills 1, injures 2

The victims were all in a parked car when the shooting happened, police said.

canada bodies found 2

Florida man charged with human smuggling after 4 die, 5 rescued near border

A baby and an teenage boy were among those who were found dead feet from the U.S. border.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 8.42.40 AM

Man shot while driving on I-394 in St. Louis Park

The driver and his bullet-riddled SUV wound up outside the DoubleTree hotel in St. Louis Park.

Mall of America

Mall of America to celebrate 30 years with events, giveaways throughout 2022

The festivities will kick off Friday with a '90s-themed drag show.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 7.29.00 AM

Victim of 1994 Michigan cold case murder ID'd as missing Minnesotan

Shelley Rae Kephart went missing from Hennepin County more than 28 years ago.

Mike Zimmer

Coller: Did the Vikings wait too long to fire Zimmer, Spielman?

This wasn’t just ugly. This was ugly, ugly.

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

Related

Merrick Garland

Department of Justice launches investigation into Minneapolis PD

The DOJ will see whether the police department engages in 'pattern and practice' of illegal conduct.

medaria arradondo

MPD chief asks for money to hire outside officers, spars with council members

A committee narrowly passed the proposal that would allow the MPD to contract with other agencies to curb violence.

police lights

3 dead after carjacking suspects crash during police chase in Minneapolis

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

Image from iOS (12)

MPD deletes tweet of suicide video after criticism

The department shared the video to "dispel rumors," and deleted the video out of respect for the man and his family.

Sally Yates to investigate Minneapolis police ketamine controversy

She'll investigate a report that accuses officers of sedating suspects with ketamine.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

george floyd 7

Large group of protesters call for justice for George Floyd

Floyd died after video shows an officer pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for five minutes.