1 of 3 | Protestors and local residents gather at the George Floyd Memorial in 2021, while on Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights published a report that found Minneapolis Police repeatedly engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo
April 27 (UPI) -- Minneapolis police engaged "in a pattern or practice of race discrimination," according to a report issued by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Wednesday.
The report found the Minneapolis Police Department violated the state's Human Rights Act, repeating a pattern that saw officers use higher rates of more severe force against Black community members than White community members in similar circumstances.
The pattern was caused by an organizational culture, including flawed training, deficient accountability systems, and an overall lack of collective action by the city and police department leadership, according to the report.
Training emphasized "a paramilitary approach to policing," said state human rights commissioner Rebecca Lucero, who co-authored the report.
The Department of Human Rights launched the investigation in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd to look at "a pattern or practice of race discrimination" within the city's police force.
Lucero said Wednesday that Black residents in Minneapolis represented around 78% of all police searches between 2017 and 2020 but represent about 19% of the city's population of approximately 420,000 people.
The human rights department will work with the city to develop a consent decree, a court-enforceable agreement that identifies specific changes to be made to the police department and timelines for those changes to occur.
It will then work to identify what should be included in the decree to address the racial discrimination.
"We will work with the city to develop a consent decree and engage with community members, police officers and other stakeholders," the department said on Twitter after releasing the report.
"We have a hell of a lot of work to do as a city. We have a hell of a lot of work to do in this nation," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
"I found the contents to be repugnant, at times horrific. They made me sick to my stomach and outraged and I think that our community feels the same way."
The report was issued the same day lawyers for former police officer Derek Chauvin asked an appeals court to overturn his conviction. Chauvin was found guilty a little more than a year ago of killing Floyd.
The City of Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement with Floyd's family in March 2021.
Demonstrators hold a sign in Los Angeles on June 14 for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot by police in her home while she was sleeping. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo