Minneapolis, Minnesota – A new, court-enforceable settlement agreement sets a road map for policing changes in Minneapolis, authorities said during a press conference on March 31. A week later, police accountability movement leaders held a press conference in City Hall to speak on what the agreement means to the everyday people of Minneapolis who’ve endured the violent, racist practices of the police.
Speakers at the press conference included Michelle Gross, President of Communities United Against Police Brutality, Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Myon Burrell, who spent 18 years incarcerated for a murder he didn’t commit, Toshira Garraway, who’s fiancé Justin Teigen was found dead after a police encounter in 2009, and Nekima Levy-Armstrong, head of the Racial Justice Network.
The police murder of George Floyd prompted the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) to file charges against the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) based on “racially-discriminatory policing in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.”
In April 2022, MDHR released their report detailing that the city and MPD had indeed engaged “in a pattern or practice of race discrimination.” In July 2022, the city and MDHR agreed to “a non-binding statement of principles“ that were to “guide efforts to reach a court-enforceable settlement agreement.”
Nearly three years after Floyd’s killing and one year after the findings were released, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Frey approved the court-enforceable agreement on March 31, 2023.
While there is some confusion over the term ‘consent decree,’ the city said this agreement has not been dubbed a consent decree. The day after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd, the Department of Justice started an investigation in the MPD. The investigation is ongoing and if there is a conclusion of unlawful policing, a consent decree will likely be ordered.
Watch last week’s press conference on the settlement agreement below.