The announcement comes one day after a Hennepin County jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second degree murder for killing Floyd.
“Yesterday’s verdict in the state criminal trial does not address potentially systemic policing issues in Minneapolis,” Garland said during a press conference.
Garland said the probe will be a “fully comprehensive review” that will look into whether the Minneapolis Police Department has a “pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.” He specificed that this includes “using excessive force, including during protests,” as well as “discriminatory conduct and whether its treatment of those with behavioral health disabilities is unlawful.”
The investigation will be conducted by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota, and will examine the MPD’s policies, training, supervision, use of force provisions, systems of accountability, and more in determining whether or not “other mechanisms” are needed to be put in place.,
“I strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices,” Garland said. “Good officers welcome accountability because accountability is an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust.”
Floyd’s death sparked a wave of protests, riots, and activism across the country due to Chauvin’s conduct, in which he knelt on Floyd’s neck, pinning him to the ground for more than nine minutes.
The policing probe is not the only federal investigation to come out of the incident that left Floyd dead. Following the reading of the verdict on Tuesday, Garland issued a statement sympathizing with Floyd’s family and reminding the country that a federal civil rights investigation remains in process.
“While the state’s prosecution was successful, I know that nothing can fill the void that the loved ones of George Floyd have felt since his death. The Justice Department has previously announced a federal civil rights investigation into the death of George Floyd. This investigation is ongoing.”
Fox News’ David Spunt contributed to this report.