Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday the conclusions of a two-year investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
"We found that MPD and the City of Minneapolis engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, unlawfully discriminating against black and Native American people in enforcement activities," Garland relayed.
He went on to impose on the MPD a consent decree, a settlement that Tim Rutledge of the Law Enforcement Alliance for Peer Support (LEAPS) says essentially makes a difficult job even harder.
"This creates additional stress," he laments. "It creates more officers leaving the department -- going to other jobs that don't have this oversight, doesn't have the scrutiny -- to have the freedom to do their job to protect the people."
"I think Minneapolis is going to suffer even more," Rutledge adds.
He says those ramifications are based on the false narrative that the Minneapolis police are racist and out of control.
"In 2015 The Washington Post set out to prove this rhetoric that we were doing just that: Killing a bunch of unarmed people of a particular race," the LEAPS spokesman notes. "Their studies, that are continuing to this day, prove we're not."
He believes police officers, including those in the Minneapolis Police Department, should be celebrated as heroes, not vilified.
"Every day an officer dons the vest, he'll have a conscious thought: I might die today. There's no other occupation that has that daily thought, except military, and that only applies when they are in theater," Rutledge tells AFN.
The city and the MPD have agreed in principle to resolve the Justice Department's findings through the court enforceable consent decree with an independent monitor, rather than through contested litigation.