Minnesota Attorney General launches new Civil Rights Division Office for discrimination, fraud

A new civil rights division has been launched within Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office.

The division will focus on cases where Minnesotans are targeted by fraud on account of their race, gender or religious beliefs, and will use consumer-protection powers to help protect victims. 

Ellison says his office has received many complaints from people who experienced discrimination or fraud when they shop for housing, receive health care or education. 

Ellison released the following statement in a news release:

“We have known for decades and decades that Minnesota has some of the worst disparities in the nation, so we must apply new approaches and tools to do everything within our power to expose and correct the causes of discrimination at their roots. I’m committed to ensuring that all Minnesotans have the opportunity to obtain housing, credit, and other essential products without discrimination. My legal career began with civil rights and obtaining justice for Minnesotans who had no one else to turn to. This new division is the result of my life-long belief that a truly level, equal playing field, where everyone can participate fairly in our markets without discrimination, is essential to ensuring that all Minnesotans and all Americans can afford their lives and live with dignity, safety, and respect.” 

He adds it will reinforce the work already being done by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. 

The attorney’s office said that the new division builds upon “recent successes” from cases where AG Ellison found that a landlord violated the rights of 267 families, mostly in north Minneapolis.

Anyone who experiences discrimination when buying a product or service is encouraged to report the incident to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a complaint here.

Minnesota residents who experience other forms of discrimination should file a report with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights here.