YWCA Minneapolis Statement on DOJ’s Investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department
George Floyd and the many other Black and Brown victims of police violence should be alive today. For over 130 years, YWCA Minneapolis has been dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women and we applaud the Justice Department’s investigation and court-enforced overhaul of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The murder of George Floyd led to protests and unrest across the country and focused international attention on racism in law enforcement. But as many in the Black and Brown communities know, the systemic and blatant disregard for civil rights as observed in the Justice Department’s scathing report comes as no surprise and has been occurring for many, many years.
The Justice Department found that within the Minneapolis Police Department, illegal conduct was common, racism was pervasive and misconduct was tolerated. The Minneapolis Police Department routinely discriminated against Black and Native American people, used deadly force without justification, and violated the first Amendment rights of protesters and journalists and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also concluded that these patterns and practices made what happened to George Floyd possible.
Reform is a necessary step toward trust, safety and accountability in policing, and for the Minneapolis community to begin to heal. We have the power to make material and lasting change when we all work together to ensure peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Shelley Carthen Watson
President and CEO