The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced it filed a civil rights charge against the Minneapolis police in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to the governor.
The investigation will be carried out to deal with “systemic racism that is generations deep,” Gov. Tim Walz told reporters.
That probe will go back 10 years to see if there were “systemic discriminatory practices” in the Minneapolis Police Department, he said on Twitter.
“Silence is complicity. Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” he said in a statement. “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 FBI also said it is investigating whether police willfully deprived Floyd of his rights.
Floyd died while he was in police custody in a now-viral video that showed an officer with his knee on his neck. The Hennepin County Attorney filed criminal charges against the former officer, Derek Chauvin.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Floyd’s manner of death was ruled as a homicide, saying he went into cardiopulmonary arrest as a Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on his neck.
The office also said that “hypertensive heart disease,” “fentanyl intoxication,” and “recent methamphetamine use” as other “significant conditions” that contributed to his death.
Earlier Tuesday, an attorney for Floyd’s family again decried the official autopsy that found his death was caused by cardiac arrest as police restrained him and compressed his neck.
“The cause of death was that he was starving for air. It was lack of oxygen. And so everything else is a red herring to try to throw us off,” family attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday. He said the Hennepin County medical examiner went to great lengths to try to convince the public that what was shown on bystander video didn’t cause Floyd to die.
Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests, acts of arson, vandalism, and looting across the United States, while President Donald Trump has said that far-left actors, including the Antifa group, are responsible for much of the damage. Several police officers were also shot in several cities amid protests this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.