The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis Police Department, and has launched an investigation following the death of George Floyd.
"This investigation into policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped," it was announced on Tuesday.
The investigation will be led by Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, and the department says it will allow it "to take swift action in response to any determination of civil rights violations."
"Silence is complicity. Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” said Governor Tim Walz.
"As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say. It is going to take action at all levels from the neighborhood on up, to get the change we need to see. This effort is only one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with those in the community who have been unseen and unheard for far too long."
The department says it's seeking agreement from city leadership and the police department to "immediately implement interim measures in advance of long-term measures to address systemic discriminatory practices."
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is expected to give the city's response at 3 p.m.
The department wants anyone with information that can help its probe to contact it at mn.gov/mdhr or 651-539-1100.
Minneapolis has now been the scene of two major protests in the past five years following the killing of black men by police officers, with the scenes resulting from Floyd's death following the blockade of the 2nd Precinct in late 2015 after the shooting of Jamar Clark.
There have long been calls for reform within Minneapolis Police, after years of excessive force complaints made against officers, many by the African American community.
The New York Times notes that despite African-Americans accounting for 20 percent of the city's population, they're more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have forced use against them than white residents.
Furthermore, black people account for 60 percent of officer-involved shooting victims between 2009 and 2019.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said his department is "absolutely behind" the decision to launch the investigation.