The Minnesota Department of Human Rights hopes to negotiate a consent decree with Minneapolis officials by September.

Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero provided a timeline for the negotiations in a letter sent to city officials on Wednesday, one week after the state unveiled a 72-page report outlining a pattern of racial discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Department of Human Rights began investigating the MPD in summer 2020, after George Floyd's murder prompted a global conversation on policing. It found that, over the course of a decade, Minneapolis police stopped, searched, arrested and used force against people of color — especially Black people — at starkly higher rates than white people. It also said they created covert social media accounts to surveil Black people and organizations unrelated to criminal activity, and that several administrations of city leaders failed to hold problem officers accountable.

In her letter, Lucero said she hoped to begin biweekly meetings with city officials starting next week to discuss feedback from residents, updates on the search for a new police chief, and "areas of the findings that MDHR and the City agree upon in principle." It said the department hopes to begin full-day sessions to negotiate consent decree terms by the end of July and to submit a proposed decree to a state court for approval by Sept. 1.

A consent decree would require approval from Mayor Jacob Frey and a majority of City Council members. Frey, in an interview last week, said he hopes to have a consent decree with "one set of clear standards" and "one set of clear metrics that we're targeting."

The state hopes to begin consent decree negotiations at a time when the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting its own investigation into whether Minneapolis police engaged in a "pattern and practice" of illegal conduct. That, too, has the potential to result in a consent decree and it's too early to tell how the two would compare.

Lucero has said she believes Minneapolis police can be subject to multiple consent decrees at the same time. In her letter to city officials, Lucero noted that the Justice Department hasn't publicly released a date for completing its investigation. "Given this reality, it is imperative to immediately address the state law violations identified by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights," she wrote.

In his own response letter, Minneapolis City Attorney Jim Rowader said, "The City is fully committed to working with MDHR to address the issues in the report" and looks forward to meeting with Human Rights leaders Monday.