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Merrick Garland claims discriminatory 'patterns and practices' made George Floyd death 'possible'
Image via CBS News / YouTube (screenshot)

Merrick Garland claims discriminatory 'patterns and practices' made George Floyd death 'possible'

The Minneapolis police discriminated against citizens, violated rights, and were responsible for unlawful policing habits that made the death of George Floyd possible, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, as reported by ABC News.

The report from the Department of Justice said the police department discriminated against black and native Americans and used unnecessary and excessive force. The two-year investigation also determined that the department violated the freedom of speech rights of protesters, as well.

"The patterns and practices we observed made what happened to George Floyd possible," Garland said. "As one city leader told us, 'These systemic issues didn't just occur on May 25, 2020. There were instances like that that were being reported by the community long before that.'"

"We also found that MPD officers routinely disregard the safety of people in their custody. Our review found numerous incidents in which MPD officers responded to a person saying that they could not breathe with a version of, 'You can breathe, you're talking right now,'" Garland continued.

"As I told George Floyd's family this morning, his death has had an irrevocable impact on the Minneapolis community, and our country and on the world. His loss is still felt deeply by those who loved and knew him and by many who did not. George Floyd should be alive today," the attorney general continued.

An example given by the law enforcement official involved a 2017 case in which a Minneapolis police officer "shot and killed an unarmed woman who he said had 'spooked him' when she approached his squad car."

"The woman had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in a nearby alley," he added.

That appears to be in reference to a case in which the accused officer was a Somali immigrant, Mohamed Noor, who had been employed for just two years. The victim was Justine Ruszczyk Damond, an Australian-American.

The report claimed that stops, searches, and force were used disproportionately against black and native Americans, Garland said. "The data showed, for example, that MPD stopped black and Native American people nearly six times more often than white people in situations that did not result in arrest or citation."

In another example from 2015, it was cited that a four Somali-American teens were asked by a white officer if they remember "what happened in 'Black Hawk Down' when we killed a bunch of your folk?"

"I'm proud of that. We didn't finish the job over there. If we had, you guys wouldn't be over here," the officer reprtedly said on video.

The report also included alleged racist remarks, as well as discriminatory remarks police made to arrestees.

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