Court approves consent decree requiring Minneapolis, MPD to implement changes

A Hennepin County Judge on Thursday approved a consent decree between the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights requiring the police department and city to make "transformational" changes in the interest of public safety.

The agreement comes after MDHR's lengthy investigation into the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department following the murder of George Floyd. The investigation found a "pattern or practice of race discrimination" which violates the state’s civil rights laws. The MDHR and city filed a court-enforceable agreement in March 2023, which was approved by Judge Karen Janisch in court on July 13.

"Today, the court entered the consent decree that was negotiated by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Police Department," said MDHR Commissioner Rebecca Lucero in a statement. "With the eyes of the world on Minneapolis, entry of this order reflects this critically important moment in time. The agreement captures the scope of the necessary work ahead to address race-based policing, a plague on our City that harms everyone, especially people of color and Indigenous community members. We, at the Department, are committed to the work that lies ahead."

The agreement legally requires the City of Minneapolis and MPD to implement transformational changes in addressing discriminatory, race-based policing in order to strengthen public safety. 

The City of Minneapolis and MPD will be overseen by multiple entities to ensure they are following the consent decree and implementing changes. According to the MDHR, these entities include: 

  • Team of Independent Evaluators: The monitoring team will support the City and MPD, monitor their progress, engage with community members and police officers, and provide regular, public reports. The City and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights are in the process of identifying this team.
  • State Court: The court will oversee this legally binding agreement and is the only entity that can terminate the agreement once the court determines that the City and MPD have reached full, effective, and sustained compliance with the terms.
  • Minnesota Department of Human Rights: The Department will assess whether the City and MPD are satisfying the terms of the court-enforceable agreement.
  • Community Members and Police Officers: While MPD is developing and updating its policies, the court-enforceable agreement requires that MPD engage with and collect feedback from officers and community members.

This consent decree comes as the Department of Justice is negotiating an enforceable agreement in federal court after an investigation found the City of Minneapolis and MPD  violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law. Once an agreement has been made, the City of Minneapolis and MPD will be subject to two court-enforceable agreements.