With consent decree looming, MPD chief says officers are ready to ‘move forward’

Hours before the U.S. attorney general shares what the government found in its investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, Chief Brian O’Hara said his officers are ready and committed to move forward.

Early Thursday, 5 INVESTIGATES learned through multiple sources that the Department of Justice has finished its two-year-long pattern and practice investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland will be in Minneapolis Friday morning to make a “civil rights announcement,” according to a DOJ press release Thursday morning.

“There’s this almost unanimous feeling between both police and community that we want to move forward,” O’Hara said.

The DOJ launched its investigation after the murder of George Floyd to determine if MPD engages in a pattern of discriminatory policing and excessive force.

Former U.S. attorney Rachel Paulose told 5 INVESTIGATES the final DOJ report could be hundreds of pages long and will likely address much more than the murder of George Floyd.

“I think the most important aspect of this case is that it’s trying to attack systemic racism in an institution, and it’s acknowledging that such a thing exists,” Paulose said. “That’s really the message that the Department of Justice is sending with this investigation.”

RELATED: Minneapolis Police will be under court supervision for years. DOJ may be watching for a decade.

Minneapolis city leaders expect the DOJ investigation will result in a consent decree, a set of court-ordered reforms overseen by the federal government.

“As we continue to move forward, as we continue to be the police and to try and keep our residents safe, I know our cops are more and more mindful that we have to earn people’s trust as we do that,” O’Hara said.

Garland’s announcement will be broadcast live starting at 10 a.m. Friday on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.