April 21, 2021

"The investigation I am announcing today will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force including during protests."

Said Attorney General Merrick Garland, quoted in "Attorney General Merrick Garland announces an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department" (NYT).

So-called pattern-or-practice investigations are often the precursors to consent decrees, court-approved deals between the Justice Department and local governments that create and enforce a road map for training and operational changes.... The Obama administration had repeatedly used the tool to address police misconduct. The restoration of consent decrees was one of the Biden administration’s first significant moves to hold police forces accountable in cases where they are found to have violated federal laws. 

FROM THE EMAIL: Mattman26 writes:

Good for the Biden Administration for committing to ferreting out the racism in the Democratic Party!

The whole “City X last had a Republican mayor in [year]” thing has become kind of an all-purpose giggle line for righties (myself included).

But seriously here: Except for a weird one-day thing, Minneapolis has had nothing but Democratic mayors dating back to the early sixties. The City Council (per Wiki), which governs the PD, has 12 Democrats and one Green (and that’s it). The Chief (nominated by the mayor, approved by the City Council) is a Black man who has held the post since 2017, and whom you’d have to guess is not a Republican (not because he’s Black, but because he got the job). And I’d guess you’d have to go way back in time to find a Chief who wasn’t Democrat-leaning.

So who hires these cops? Who trains them? Who disciplines them? Who provides their rules of engagement? It’s Democrats all the way down.

AND: Jeffrey emails: 

I didn't watch all of the Derrick Chauvin trial, but I watched enough to know that central themes included that his actions were far outside the norm of policing, as trained or practiced in the Minneapolis Police Department. So what happens to this ex-cop, oh-so hung out to dry by his department, when it is found that the problem wasn't that he was a rogue cop, but that he was literally doing what he understood to be his job? Doesn't that go to the whole "reasonable police officer" standard at the heart of the case? Shouldn't they have been announcing this investigation just like they were announcing the 8-figure settlement the city reached with the Floyd family? I mean, if we're improperly influencing the jury, shouldn't we do so in a balanced way?