Since the death of, the Minneapolis man who lost his life after a for more than eight minutes, protests have erupted nationwide over racial injustices and police brutality. Data from the city shows the officers' actions may have been part of a growing trend of misconduct in the midwestern police department.
New complaints of misconduct against the Minneapolis Police Department hit a record high in 2018, jumping 41.5% to 569 from 402 in the year prior, according to the city's most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Since the city began recording data on misconduct complaints in 2003, the number has steadily increased, from a low of 68 in 2008 to a more than seven-fold increase a decade later, the financial documents show. Data for 2019 is not yet available.
According to the same financial documents, as of December 31, 2018, the city was at the center of four cases "that allege injury or wrongful death, as a result of police misconduct," and in May 2019 it settled another wrongful death claim for $20,000. These cases, it noted, were outside of what the city would consider the normal number and amount of legal claims.
An email to the Minneapolis Police Department requesting comment was not immediately returned.
All four officers involved in Floyd's death have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd's back, was originally charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder, which wason Wednesday afternoon. The remaining three former officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
On Tuesday, Minnesota's Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced that the Minneapolis Police Department was under investigation by the state's Department of Human Rights. The investigation, which is a charge of racial discrimination, will look into the department's practices, policies and procedures over the past 10 years, according to CBS Minnesota. At the conclusion of the investigation, the police department will be required to make the changes ordered by the Department of Human Rights.
"This is one piece of the puzzle to getting justice for George Floyd and all black Minnesotans who have not been served or protected by the Minneapolis Police Department," Flanagan said at a press conference announcing the investigation.
Floyd's death has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, prompting widespread protests against racial injustice and racially-motivated police misconduct. Those demonstrations have resulted in nearly 10,000 arrests in the United States, according to an Associated Press estimate, reflecting how much police activity has surrounded the protests.