Minneapolis City Council Moving Forward with Replacing Police

minneapolis police department

The Minneapolis City Council made steps to move forward with an amendment which could potentially replace the Minneapolis Police Department. According to FOX 9, “under the plan, the police department would be replaced in the charter with a public safety department but doesn’t outline how the department will work or be structured.” The amendment that passed the policy and government oversight committee was put together by a local community advocacy group called Yes 4 Minneapolis Committee.

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Leader of Honor the Earth Environmental Group Arrested in Minnesota While Protesting Line 3

Winona LaDuke - Ojibwe Business Owner

Winona LaDuke, the leader of the Honor the Earth environmental group was arrested along with six other women while protesting the Line 3 pipeline. As was reported on WCCO, three of the arrested water protectors “locked down one of Enbridge’s drills on Tuesday morning, halting drilling under the Shell River.” The women are facing trespassing charges. These arrests bring the total number of protesters arrested to over 600.

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Osseo School Board Votes to Adopt Gender Inclusion Policy

The Osseo School Board voted on Tuesday night to accept the adoption of the new gender inclusion policy, despite major critique from district residents and parents. In footage of the school board meeting, two board members, Heather Douglass and Tanya Simons moved to strike the vote on the policy, citing concerns that citizens have not been able to give enough input into the decision. Their motion to strike that from the agenda did not pass, and the gender inclusion policy was passed on a 4-2 vote.

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St. Paul School District May Close Schools Due to Low Enrollment

St. Paul School District

The St. Paul School District is considering closing some schools as enrollment is low. “School board members are listening to the most recent update on how to make schools more equitable in resources and programs,” FOX 9 reported.

The district says that there will not be enough students to fill classrooms, so in the interest of best utilizing resources, they are considering closing some elementary schools. This is not an issue isolated in St. Paul. In fact, schools statewide are experiencing losses of students. Federal data suggests that public school enrollment in Minnesota has gone down by over 17,000 students. Homeschooling rates have increased dramatically, along with a slight increase in private school enrollment.

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Pennsylvania Punishes County That Allowed Audit of Vote Counting Machines

The Pennsylvania Department of State decertified Fulton County’s voting machines on Wednesday after officials there participated in a third-party audit.

The voluntary probe came at the request of Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) who’s currently spearheading a larger effort to audit machines in Tioga, York and Philadelphia counties amid his ongoing campaign to ferret out fraudulent activity during the past two elections.

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Minneapolis Restaurant Burned Down in 2020 Summer Riots, Now It Has Its Delivery Van Stolen in 2021

Curry In A Hurry

A Minneapolis restaurant burned to the ground during the riots in May 2020 and now the owner’s delivery van was stolen. Ruhel Islam, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was the owner of Gandhi Mahal, a restaurant that burned down in 2020. Islam got attention after he took to social media saying “let my building burn. Justice needs to be served.” A Go Fund Me was started and raised over $125,000 for Islam to rebuild. The fundraising site reads, “Thanks for your outpouring of support. And for continuing to demand justice for George Floyd.”

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Sartell-St. Stephens Fourth Grader Says Teacher Told Her to Never Repeat Equity Survey Questions to Parents

A Sartell-St. Stephens fourth-grade student shared at the board meeting on Monday that her teacher told her to never repeat the questions found on a mandatory equity survey to her parents. Haylee Yasgar explained that this took place while she was distance learning from home. The “Equity Survey” was distributed virtually to the fourth graders, where they were forced to take it and told to answer all the questions.

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Minneapolis Residents Voice Concerns After 50th Homicide of 2021

Minneapolis residents spoke about their concerns regarding the rising violence in Minneapolis after the 50th homicide of 2021. As was reported on WCCO, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo and Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson held a community conversation where they heard the concerns of the citizens of Minneapolis.

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Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin County $3.7 Million

Chauvin Trial Cost Hennepin

Hennepin County spent $3.7 million on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, according to documents obtained by The Center Square via the Freedom of Information Act.

Securing the Hennepin County courthouse was the second-largest expense – $773,412 paying for barbed wire, razor fencing, barricades, and boarding up windows. The most significant expense was employee overtime costing $1.1 million.

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Twin Cities Pride Asking Minneapolis to Remove Requirement for Police at Large Events

Twin Cities Pride

The organization Twin Cities Pride is asking the city of Minneapolis to remove the requirement that large events be staffed with police officers. In a statement on the Twin Cities Pride website, it said it has “joined the chorus of community voices to strongly call on the City of Minneapolis to suspend the current requirement for event planners and organizers to contract with off-duty Minneapolis Police Department officers for security at large events.” 

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Raise Our Standards Tour Duluth Stop Attracts Protesters

Duluth Lift Bridge

The Center for the American Experiment’s (CAE) Raise Our Standards Tour made it to Duluth after four venues declined to host the event, where attendees were met by protesters. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the event drew about 30 attendees and 40 protesters. Before the event started, “protesters gathered along Minnesota Avenue with flags and signs promoting racial justice.”

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Representative John Thompson Questions ‘Authenticity’ of Abuse Allegations

John Thompson Questions Allegations

Representative John Thompson has challenged the authenticity of the abuse allegations brought against him. Thompson has become the focal point in Minnesota news after it was discovered that he has never held a Minnesota driver’s license and that his Wisconsin license was suspended for failing to pay child support.

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Owatonna School Introduces ‘Introduction to Critical Race Theory’ Class

Owatonna School Board

A highschool in Owatonna has introduced an elective class about critical race theory. The course is applicable for college credit. The course description says that taking Introduction to Education is strongly encouraged as a prerequisite. The description says that students will be taught the five tenets of critical race theory (CRT) and will be shown how to “isolate race.”

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Minneapolis Police Open Investigation About Destroyed Records

After the Star Tribune did a report regarding some destroyed records from the Minneapolis Police Department’s 2nd precinct, an investigation was opened regarding the circumstances surrounding the destruction. The officers involved got rid of files while the 3rd precinct was burning after being looted just blocks away. The report reads investigators disposed of “inactive case files, search warrants and records of confidential informants.”

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Minneapolis Has Experienced One of the Largest Homicide Increases in the Nation, Study Finds

A new study found that Minneapolis experienced the fifth-highest increase in homicides in the nation between 2019 to 2021.

The overall rankings were based on both a city’s current homicide rate and the change in its number of homicides across the last two years. Minneapolis landed in the 11th position overall, behind cities like New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Detroit, according to the WalletHub survey.

From the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021, the city of lakes saw the fifth-highest increase in per capita homicides in the nation. In this time, Minneapolis endured the death of George Floyd, unprecedented levels of rioting, mass unemployment caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, and a political assault on its police department.

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Gov. Walz Requests USDA Help During Minnesota Drought

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

Due to a severe statewide drought, Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, requesting assistance to aid Minnesota’s livestock producers by relieving the immediate impacts of drought on grazing land.

“Agriculture is the past, present, and future of Minnesota’s economy. We must do everything we can to address the challenges our farmers and ranchers are facing due to the severe drought conditions plaguing our state. That’s why I’m asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for assistance,” Walz said in a statement. “The USDA’s ongoing support of Minnesota’s agricultural industry is well-recognized across the state, and with their continued assistance, our livestock producers will have a brighter outlook as we endure these harsh conditions and look forward to a thriving future.”

Walz supported implementing a plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land counties experiencing Level D2 or greater drought conditions, reducing forage pressures on Minnesota’s livestock producers. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on July 8 reported nearly 40% of Minnesota is suffering under Level D2 or greater drought conditions.

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Democrats Ask Rep. John Thompson to Resign Citing Years of Abuse Allegations

Minnesota Democrats have called for Rep. John Thompson to resign nearly one year after his long history of alleged violence and domestic abuse became a topic of public discourse.

Thompson first achieved notoriety in August 2020 when he called for anti-police protesters to burn down the town of Hugo. Shortly after that incident, Alpha News unearthed and reported on his criminal record, which shows he has a history of domestic assault accusations. Despite this, the Minnesota DFL, Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar upheld their endorsements of then-candidate Thompson.

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Hamline University Will Require COVID Vaccine for 2021 School Year

Hamline University announced that they will be requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID before classes commence in the fall. The University’s President Fayneese Miller said, “We want, and need, to be together as a community. We value a sense of community at Hamline and all that entails, but to return to what we value and who we are, mandating a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary.” The announcement was made on Thursday with the expectation that students will be fully vaccinated before returning to campus in August.

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Report: Minnesota Election System ‘Weakest in the Nation’

A Minnesota think tank released a new report this week exposing flaws in the state’s election system and recommending a number of possible reforms.

The “‘vote now, check later’ verification process” that Minnesota uses for same-day voter registrants has a number of “weaknesses,” according to the report.

Minnesotans who register to vote prior to Election Day are subjected to a verification process before their vote is counted. Same-day registrants go through the same verification process but only after the election.

“Their vote is counted,” the report says. “The county auditor runs the same verification using the Department of Public Safety database and the Social Security database. But if a problem is discovered, it is too late, because the vote has already been counted.”

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Uptown Minneapolis Dumpster Fire Causes $70K in Damages to Restaurant

A man set fire to a dumpster behind Stella’s Fish Cafe, in Minneapolis, which led to tens of thousands of dollars in damage. According to Bring Me the News, “security footage shows two men going into the alley area by Stella’s dumpsters around 3:04 a.m. on July 6. One man… was wearing a bulletproof vest.”

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Protests and Riots Erupt in Uptown Minneapolis After Removal of ‘Peace Garden’

Winston Smith Memorial Garden clearing

On Wednesday night, riots and protests erupted again after the city of Minneapolis and 7 Points Uptown decided to remove the “peace garden” where a memorial for Winston Smith was located. The garden, also known as Boogie World, was a second autonomous zone established in Minneapolis after a wanted man, Winston Smith, was shot and killed by U.S. Marshals on June 3.

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Former President Trump Slams Fulton County Recount After New Claims of Irregularities

Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Wednesday slamming the recount of the 2020 election in Fulton County, Georgia — after a lawsuit alleged there was a 60% error rate in the hand count audit.

“The news coming out of Georgia is beyond incredible. The hand recount in Fulton County was a total fraud! They stuffed the ballot box—and got caught. We will lose our Country if this is allowed to stand,” Trump said.

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Chauvin Judge Will Not Change Memo, Despite Prosecutor Demands

Judge Peter Cahill announced that he will not change the memo regarding former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has requested that Cahill change the memo to reflect the supposed trauma that the young girls experienced. As was reported on FOX 9, Judge Cahill has declined Ellison’s request to change the wording of the memo.

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Lawsuit to Inspect Fulton County Mail-In Ballots Amended to Include New Evidence Hand Recount Audit ‘Was Riddled with Massive Errors and Provable Fraud’

Petitioners in a lawsuit to inspect Fulton County mail-in absentee ballots from the November 3, 2020, election have added new claims and provided new evidence that the hand recount audit was riddled wth massive errors and provable fraud.

VoterGA, organizers of the lawsuit, made the stunning announcement on Tuesday that revealed “a whopping 60%” error rate in Fulton County’s hand count audit held on November 14 and 15, 2020.

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Ethics Complaint Filed Against Minnesota Representative John Thompson After Outburst

John Thompson

Minnesota Representative Eric Lucero filed an ethics complaint against Representative John Thompson following an outburst from Thompson during a legislative session. According to Lucero, Thompson repeatedly spoke out of order when Lucero was discussing an amendment to a bill regarding the importance of supporting law enforcement officers, particularly the spouses and children of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.

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Representative John Thompson Releases Statement About Traffic Stop

Minneapolis Police Department

Representative John Thompson released a statement on Monday regarding a traffic stop where he was pulled over for not having a front license plate and was cited for driving with suspended privileges. Thompson had claimed that the traffic stop was racially motivated, but failed to give any evidence to back up his claims. There have been calls by lawmakers to release the bodycam footage of the incident. The statement from Thompson says that while the officer won’t be seen doing anything not “by the book,” but that the book needs to be rewritten.

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Minneapolis City Council Proposes Bringing Back Single Room Occupancy to Combat Homelessness

The Minneapolis City Council has proposed bringing back a model called Single Room Occupancy (SRO) in order to combat homelessness and provide more affordable housing options. Minneapolis City Council Members Cam Gordon, Lisa Goodman and Jeremy Schroeder are putting together an ordinance to make it easier to have Single Room Occupancy buildings in Minneapolis.

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Three Year Old Shot in Minneapolis

Police line do not cross tape

A three year old was shot in Minneapolis over the weekend. In video footage obtained from a security camera, dozens of shots were being fired in a Minneapolis neighborhood, ending in a three year old child being hit in the leg. Due to the volume of blood he was losing it was obvious that his injuries were very serious. In order to save the child’s life, Minneapolis police officers applied a tourniquet and drove him to the hospital themselves.

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Ramsey County Sheriff Accused of Racism After ‘Sundown’ Comment

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was accused of racism after making a comment about criminals leaving town by “sundown” during a Live on Patrol video. Critics called his comment “disgusting” and “unacceptable.” In the clip of the incident, Fletcher says, “100 years ago, though, we woulda just told them, ‘OK, son, you got ’til sundown to get outta of town.’”

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Attorney General Ellison Announces $50 Million Settlement with Purdue Pharma

Keith Ellison

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Minnesota will get $50 million from the settlement of the state’s lawsuit against the Sackler family’s company Purdue Pharma, which manufactured the opioid drug Oxycontin that contributed to the deadly opioid crisis nationwide.

The resolution will make public more than 30 million documents related to Purdue’s role in the opioid crisis and require the Sacklers to pay $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts in communities across the country.

Minnesota’s share of those payments is expected to exceed $50 million over nine years, the spending of which will be overseen by the State’s Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council.

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Line 3 Protesters Bailed Out of Jail with Thousands in Cash

protesters

According to Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes, many of the over 300 Line 3 protesters they have arrested have been bailed out by people bringing in bags of cash. Aukes said, “Time and time again, a protester makes a phone call and someone shows up with a duffel bag full of cash to bail them out. A bag full of $100 bills; in fact, $52,000 on one occasion. That is a lot of cash to be carrying around in a duffel bag.”

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Charlottesville Removes Lee and Jackson Statues

Charlottesville, Virginia – The City of Charlottesville removed two famous Confederate statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on Saturday. Workers began removing Lee shortly after 7 a.m. to a moderately sized crowd, but more people arrived later in the morning to see Jackson lifted off his pedestal and driven to storage. In a special meeting afterwards, the city council also approved removing Charlottesville’s Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea statue; workers removed that statue after the meeting.

“Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said in a speech before the monuments came down, according to The Associated Press.

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Hennepin County Police Chiefs Alarmed by Increasing Violence

Minneapolis Police

Several Hennepin County police chiefs are speaking out after Minneapolis’ suburbs have seen an unprecedented uptick in violent crime. 

“I’ve never seen the gun violence like it is,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told Fox 9. 

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Former President Trump to Hold Phoenix Rally on July 24

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he will hold a rally in Phoenix, Arizona to highlight election security efforts.

Trump is hosting the rally, dubbed “Rally to protect Our Elections,” in connection with Turning Point USA — the group’s founder Charlie Kirk announced in a tweet.

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Ohio Teachers Pledge to Teach Critical Race Theory Even If Against the Law

A growing number of teachers across the state of Ohio have signed a pledge to continue to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT), even if the decision violates the law.

A petition published by the Zinn Education Project has collected over 5,000 signatures from teachers who commit to “teach the truth.”

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Chauvin Prosecutors Want Wording Changed in Memo

Derek Chauvin

Those who were involved in prosecuting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin want the judge to change wording in the memo. According to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, they want the wording to be changed to indicate that the girls who witnessed the death of George Floyd did in fact experience trauma.

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Minnesota Restaurants Struggling with Labor Shortage

Many Minnesota restaurants are struggling to find enough staff to be open at full capacity. A Champlin couple who were opening a Pizza Ranch franchise had to delay their grand opening two months to fill the labor shortage with teens out of school. Even with the school-age employees, the Pizza Ranch that opened in June still has to close one hour earlier than normal due to the shortages.

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Violence Continues in Uptown Minneapolis, Nightly Destruction

Minneapolis Police armed at riot in the city

The violence in Uptown has continued almost every night since early June, with limited police intervention. A video from Wednesday evening shows a driver doing donuts in the middle of the street as a passenger shoots a gun into the air. The shots were fired by the “peace garden,” the new name for the area protesters gather at where Winston Smith was killed.

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Arizona Secretary of State Requests Investigation into Former President Trump and Allies for ‘Election interference’

Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State who recently launched a bid for governor, sent a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich and requested that he open an investigation into former President Donald Trump and his allies over allegations of “election interference.” 

“I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance, but to prevent future attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections. If your ethical duties prevent you from investigating this matter, I ask that you refer it to another enforcement agency,” Hobbs said in her letter to Brnovich.

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Family of Man Killed by Police Officer in Olivia Demand FBI Investigation

The family of the man, identified as Ricardo Torres, killed by an Olivia police officer, Aaron Clouse, on Sunday is demanding an FBI investigation of the incident. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, the suspect was shot and killed on Sunday morning after the person supposedly approached the police officer with a weapon in an alleyway.

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University of Minnesota Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity Receiving $300,000 to Research Maternal Care Racial Inequity

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity will be getting $300,000 to research maternal care inequities. The funding was given to the center in the newly passed Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act.

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Federal Judge Denies Injunction Request to Stop Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

A U.S. District Judge on Wednesday denied one group’s request that he issue a preliminary injunction against certain sections of Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. The Coalition for Good Governance requested the injunction for the July 13 runoff election for Georgia State House District 34.

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Uptown Minneapolis Annual Art Fair Canceled Due to ‘Unanticipated Challenges’

Uptown Art Fair

The Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis was canceled for 2021, because of “unanticipated challenges.” A statement from the executive director of the Uptown Association said that having the 2021 fair was “not something that we can feel comfortable with, for safety reasons and for our artists.” She cited dumpster fires and an increase in drag racing as some of the safety concerns.

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Uncle of Girl Who Filmed Viral George Floyd Video Killed in Minneapolis Police Squad Car Crash

Minneapolis Police Department Squad Car

The uncle of Darnella Frazier, the Minneapolis teenager who was recently awarded an honorary Pulitzer for filming the viral video of the arrest of George Floyd, which led to his death at the hands of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, has died after a collision with police. 

While officers from the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) were pursuing a suspect in an armed robbery Tuesday morning, one officer’s squad car struck an unrelated vehicle. 

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