On Thursday, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), in coordination with 28 Senate colleagues, asked Attorney General William Barr for an explanation on his decision to not open an investigation into patterns and practices of racially discriminatory and violent policing in the Minneapolis Police Department.
The senators from Minnesota, along with their colleagues, previously sent a letter to Barr urging him to open an investigation following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis police officers.
Barr has yet to respond to the original letter, and now members of the U.S. Senate are demanding answers on why he did not respond to the original letter and to further explain the statements he made on Face the Nation on June 7 in which he stated: "I don’t think necessarily starting a pattern or practice investigation at this stage is warranted.”
Of the over 4.15 million calls for service in the city between January 1, 2008, and June 8, 2020, 18,659 have resulted in the use of force by an officer, with 12,471 of those being officially reported. Over 62% of the total use of force instances involved a black individual, compared to 23.6% for whites and 5% for Native Americans.
“If you believe, as you implied on the show, that such an investigation is not warranted, we ask that you provide a full explanation why, given these outrageous facts, you would refuse to initiate the investigation,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Appearing on a Sunday show is not an acceptable response to our letter. It is imperative that you formally inform us of your decision whether to open a pattern and practice investigation at the MPD,” the lawmakers continued.