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Officer in George Floyd’s death under review by state police conduct board

In a letter to the Hennepin County District Court, an official from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training requested records associated with the state’s prosecution, indicating the standards board is “obligated to review the facts and circumstances of this matter.”

In eyewitness video footage of the police encounter involving Floyd, Chauvin was seen pressing his knee to the African American man’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd lost consciousness. Three other officers involved in the incident also face charges.
The local medical examiner ruled Floyd’s death a homicide, as did experts hired by his family, although they do not agree on what caused it.

Disclosure of the state’s police conduct and licensing board’s involvement makes it the fourth official review of the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death.

Besides the state’s criminal investigation, the FBI is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the matter. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights also is reviewing an entire decade of police records from the Minneapolis Police Department to determine whether there is evidence to suggest the department has engaged in a pattern of unfairly targeting of minorities.

The state Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training “is responsible for licensing over 10,500 active peace officers and 109 active part-time peace officers” in Minnesota, according to the agency. If Chauvin is found to have engaged in misconduct, the agency can suspend his law enforcement license.
Minneapolis police are rarely disciplined for complaints, records show

While not speaking about any specific case, Erik Misselt, the board’s interim executive director, told CNN the penalty for violating policing standards includes a range of punitive options, including the suspension or revocation of a police officer’s law enforcement license.

News of the board’s involvement in investigating Chauvin is not the first time the agency has found itself in the public spotlight following Floyd’s death.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said last week he wants to expand the board and establish a new police-community relations council. While announcing new proposed policing reform measures, Walz called for the requirement of new “real-time data collection and analysis of complaint, discipline and use of force data and use it to inform reforms at the POST board,” particularly as it relates to the licensing of police officers.

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