A Minneapolis police detective investigating the death of a black man at the hands of two white officers said Thursday that his office is investigating an apparent racial bias and that he did not see any signs of racial bias in the officer-involved shooting that was captured on video.
The officer-related shooting of Michael Hill, 32, has raised questions about how officers handled the case and whether racial bias played a role.
Police Chief Janee Harteau said the department’s Internal Affairs unit is looking into the shooting of Hill and is reviewing video footage that shows Hill at a bus stop at a Minneapolis strip mall on Dec. 22.
Harteaus also said her office is reviewing the use of deadly force in other officer-not-involved shootings.
She did not elaborate on the circumstances of the officer’s death.
In a statement, the Minneapolis Police Department said the investigation was ongoing and that it has reached out to Hill’s family and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the case.
Hill’s death has prompted protests by black residents of Minneapolis, who have long complained about the police, and a lawsuit filed by Hill’s father, Michael Hill Jr., who said the police violated his son’s constitutional rights by arresting him without cause.
Hartseaus said that investigators from the Minneapolis office have been interviewed by investigators from other departments and have received internal affairs reports on the case from the department.
The department’s police oversight board has received more than 100 reports of misconduct, she said.
A review of the department has found a culture of mistrust and bias among officers, and she said the officers have been disciplined for their actions.
Harteveaus said the city’s Office of Police Conduct Reviewer has reviewed the department and found “there is significant potential for systemic issues.”
Harteaux did not name the officers.
The officers, who are black, have been placed on paid administrative leave, according to police spokesman Brian Roeder.
The Minneapolis police department is also conducting a criminal investigation into Hill’s killing.
It’s unclear if the investigation has reached a conclusion, and the city attorney’s office has declined to comment.
Hill was shot multiple times and killed on a street corner near the mall.
Officers responded to a 911 call about a man on the street who appeared to be carrying a gun, according the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The man was later identified as Hill, who lived at a home nearby and was shot four times.
Officers tried to pull the man over, but he ran away and reached into a garbage bag in the vehicle, police said.
One of the officers fired at Hill, hitting him twice in the head and neck, according in the statement.
The video, taken by a passerby who saw the incident, shows the officers’ actions as they approach the man, who is standing about 5 feet, 7 inches from the officers and has a black beard and short hair.
The first officer to reach Hill, Roeder said, fired three shots, hitting Hill twice.
Hill died at a hospital.
Harteneau said officers are being called to the scene to ensure that there is no danger to the public and that they follow department policies and procedures.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is also investigating the shooting, according and said it is reviewing police-involved-shooting policies and training.
The shooting comes as a growing number of police departments are struggling with a crisis of police accountability, which has prompted some departments to make sweeping changes to their policies, and others to create internal accountability mechanisms.
In June, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a civil rights investigation of the Minneapolis police after the city released dashcam video of the fatal shooting of a man who had been tasered by a police officer.