Police officers in Minneapolis use force against black people seven times more than they use it against white people, according to data collected by the city since 2015.
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 02: Demonstrators hold up signs against a newly constructed fence at Lafayette … [+]
Over the last five years, Minneapolis police have documented using at least 6,650 acts of force against a black subject, versus approximately 2,750 instances against whites.
Although black people make up less than 20% of the population in Minneapolis, nearly 60% of the time that police use force, the individual subjected to that force is black.
These numbers are culled from data recorded by the Minneapolis Police Department.
According to the New York Times, community leaders in Minneapolis say the frequency of police brutality against black residents helps explain why many in the city were enraged even before the death of George Floyd, which the medical examiner ruled a homicide.
Since 2015, body-weight pinning (one of the tactics applied on Geroge Floyd) has been used approximately 2,200 times against black people, more than twice the number of times it was used against whites.
Per Dave Bicking, a former member of the Minneapolis civilian police review authority, since 2012, more than 2,600 civilian complaints have been filed against Minneapolis police officers.
Yet, according to Bickering, in only a dozen cases has any discipline resulted from a civilian complaint alleging misconduct, with the worst punishment being 40 hours of unpaid suspension.
“If discipline had been consistent and appropriate, Derek Chauvin would have either been a much better officer, or would have been off the force,” Bicking told the Times. “If discipline had been done the way it should be done, there is virtually no chance George Floyd would be dead now.”
As detailed by the New York Times, over the last five years, several black men have been killed in Minneapolis by police officers who either never faced charges or were acquitted. In 2015, Jamar Clark, 24, was shot after, prosecutors said, he tried to grab an officer’s gun. In 2018, Thurman Blevins, 31, was fatally shot as he yelled, “Please don’t shoot me,” while running through an alley. In July of 2016, Philando Castile, 32, died after being shot in his car; his girlfriend live-streamed the gut-wrenching aftermath on Facebook Live.
Per the code of conduct of the Minneapolis Police Department, “Use of Force” is “any intentional police contact” involving:
- The use of any weapon, substance, vehicle, equipment, tool, device or animal that inflicts pain or produces injury to another; or
- Any physical strike to any part of the body of another;
- Any physical contact with a person that inflicts pain or produces injury to another; or
- Any restraint of the physical movement of another that is applied in a manner or under circumstances likely to produce injury.
In the eight days since George Floyd died in police custody, demonstrations protesting police brutality have taken place in all 50 states. The officer seen in the video pressing a knee into Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder. The other three officers have not yet been charged. According to the Star Tribune, as of Wednesday, more than 360 businesses in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul had been vandalized, looted or had doors and windows smashed. At least 66 have been destroyed entirely by fire.