GEORGE FLOYD-MINNEAPOLIS POLICE-POLICY CHANGES
Minneapolis police chief, mayor launching policy changes
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis police chief and mayor on Sunday began their push for sweeping policy changes with a new rule that prevents officers involved in using deadly force from reviewing body camera footage before completing an initial police report. The new standards come after a proposal by the Minneapolis City Council to dismantle the police force following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey say the move is first of what will be a series of new public safety policy reforms.
Mankato bar owner frustrated over state’s COVID-19 list
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The owner of a Minnesota bar that was among four establishments identified by state health officials for contributing to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases among young adults says he has instituted aggressive measures to keep customers safe. Steve Wegman is the owner of the 507 in Mankato, south of the Twin Cities. He says he’s invested in masks, gloves and cleaning supplies and taken many other steps to minimize spread of the coronavirus to patrons and employees since Minnesota bars and restaurants reopened at limited capacity this month. Wegman tells the Star Tribune he was frustrated his bar was identified as a COVID-19 hot spot, particularly after his staff had followed guidelines issued by the state.
FBI investigates noose in Minnesota firefighter’s locker
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The FBI is investigating after a piece of rope resembling a noose was found in a Black firefighter’s locker in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. An FBI spokesman confirmed Saturday the bureau is investigating and said that the case is in its initial stages. Bloomington officials had asked the FBI to investigate. Officials say that the rope was tied into what appears to be a crude noose and was discovered at a Bloomington fire station on June 15. The discovery was reported to Fire Department leaders eight days later, on Tuesday. The fire chief says such acts that “embody hate, intimidation, and aggression will not be tolerated.” Mayor Tim Busse says he’s “disgusted, angry, and embarrassed by this cowardly act.”
Juvenile assaulted at Minneapolis homeless encampment
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A juvenile has been sexually assaulted at a Minneapolis homeless encampment. A Park and Recreation Board spokeswoman tells the Star Tribune the assault happened at one of the encampments in south Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park neighborhood. The people who took the victim to the hospital did not call police. Staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital called park police early Friday. Park police are investigating but have made no arrests.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-RACIAL TRAUMA
Images of brutality against Black people spur racial trauma
As videos of Black people being killed at the hands of police make the rounds online, many Americans have felt called to protest racial injustice in recent weeks. For many Black Americans, those videos are also contributing to a sense of grief and pain. Psychologists call it racial trauma — the distress experienced because of the accumulation of racial discrimination, racial violence or institutional racism. The unfortunate irony is that the very tool that may be helping to make more people aware of the racism and violence that Black and other people of color face is also helping to fuel their trauma.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA-PRISON DEATH
2nd Minnesota inmate dies after testing COVID-19 positive
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State corrections officials say a second Minnesota prison inmate has died after testing positive for COVID-19. The Minnesota Department of Corrections says 71-year-old Leroy Wallace Bergstrom died at a hospital on Saturday. The department says Bergstrom tested positive for COVID-19 on June 10. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is pending. Bergstrom was an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault, Another Faribault inmate, 43-year-old Adrian Raymaar Keys, died Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19. The Corrections Department says one incarcerated person in Minnesota remains hospitalized.
Plan advances to allow dismantling Minneapolis Police Dept.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously advanced a plan that could one day do away with the city’s police department, following unrest over the killing of George Floyd. The council voted Friday in favor of amending the city charter to replace the current department with a “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention” that would prioritize a “holistic” and “public-health oriented” approach. Several obstacles remain for the proposal to make it onto the November ballot. Critics of the plan, including Mayor Jacob Frey and the officers’ union, say it’s short on specifics for what would replace the police department.
GEORGE FLOYD-TRIAL CAMERAS
Judge rejects cameras for ex-cops’ hearings in Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has rejected allowing cameras in the court for pretrial proceedings of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. News media organizations and defense attorneys had requested the audio and visual recordings. But Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill rejected the request Friday, noting the prosecution had objected. Minnesota rules allow the judge, prosecutors or defense attorneys to veto camera coverage during trial proceedings. The judge will rule later on whether cameras will be allowed at trial. Floyd died May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee against the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Three other officers are charged with aiding and abetting. All four are due in court for a hearing Monday.