Minnesota State Rep. John Thompson Apologizes to Police Sergeant, While Scrutiny About Abuse Grows

St. Paul Police officer

Representative John Thompson allegedly apologized to the St. Paul police officer that he accused of “racial profiling” who pulled him over on July 4 for driving without a front license plate. St. Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that, “John Thompson did show up unannounced at our Western District offices…so he could apologize to the sergeant who pulled him over on July 4th.”

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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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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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St. Paul Firefighters to Begin Wearing Bulletproof Vests, Helmets on Emergency Calls

After getting a large donation of bulletproof vests and helmets, St. Paul firefighters will start to wear them on some of their emergency calls. St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief of EMS Kenneth Adams said, “Twenty years ago we worried about having the best turnout gear and the best air packs, and nowadays we’re having to worry about, ‘Are we going to get shot?’”

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St. Paul Target Criticized for Its Juneteenth Display: ‘Missed the Mark’

A Target store in St. Paul came under fire for their Juneteenth display in their employee break room which had hot sauce, red Kool-Aid, and watermelon. Someone, presumably an employee, shared photos of the display on social media, leading to public backlash. One of the public comments called “every single Target employee who thought that the display represented Juneteenth,” racist.

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St. Paul Schools Committee Calls for End to School Suspensions After Examining ‘Racial Inequities’

Seven Indigenous students from AIMS middle school participated in the "This is Me: Indigenous in 2020" art exhibition exploring self portraiture in representational, symbolic and abstract work. The exhibition has been located in the Minneapolis U.S. District Court House since November 2020.

St. Paul Public Schools’ Equity Committee recently called for an end to school suspensions among other recommendations as a way to tackle inequities in the district.

The Equity Committee in the St. Paul Public School District was created in 2019 and is led by Superintendent Joe Gothard. The committee meets monthly to identify and examine “racial inequities” and equity disparities, as well as craft recommendations for the school board at large.

During a June 15 St. Paul Public School Board meeting, the Equity Committee brought forward a list of recommendations, including ending the use of suspensions in the district.

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St. Paul Mayor Carter Pledged to Pay Reparations to Group of Black Residents

Melvin Carter

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that he will pay reparations to Black residents of St. Paul and not just talk about doing it. Mayor Carter was one of the founding members who helped to launch the group, Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity (MORE).

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BLM St. Paul Founder Resigned After Learning ‘Ugly Truth’ About the Organization

Rashad Turner

Rashad Turner, a former leader of St. Paul’s Black Lives Matter chapter, said he resigned from the organization because it does not help black communities.

In a video released by Take Charge Minnesota, Turner spoke out about his decision to leave the Black Lives Matter movement. Take Charge Minnesota is an initiative led by Kendall Qualls, a former Republican candidate for Congress.

According to Turner, Black Lives Matter does not address a root issue within black communities — family structures. Instead, the group has worked to further degrade the concept of the nuclear family and is not interested in promoting quality education for young African Americans, according to Turner.

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St. Paul Commission Wants City to ‘Rethink’ Police Response

Side of police car while it's raining

A St. Paul public safety committee recently called for a slew of operations to be moved out of the police department and into non-law enforcement divisions.

The St. Paul “Community-First Public Safety Commission” advised the city to “rethink” its response to certain service calls and provided specific measures to implement in traffic-stop scenarios. The commission was appointed by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and is headed by the Citizens League, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization.

The commission’s recommendations call for ending the practice of pulling people over for “motor vehicle repair notices” and “other moving violations.” Instead, police should “utilize a mailed citation,” according to the commission. Repair notices include broken lights, turn-signal malfunctions, and expired tabs, to name a few.

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Father of Man Shot by Police Calls for ‘Destroying The System’ at BLM Protest

The father of a man who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police in December called for “destroying the system” at a Black Lives Matter protest Friday in St. Paul.

“There is something I would like to say today: police, it’s not only the police who kill our people. It is the system. It’s the system. This whole system, it is sucking our blood,” said the father of Dolal Idd, who died of multiple gunshot wounds after firing a weapon at police.

Both Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Idd fired at officers first, which was seemingly corroborated by body camera footage from the incident.

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State Democrats Now Want $300 Million for Twin Cities Riot Damage

Minnesota Democrats want $300 million for riot-damaged businesses, double what Gov. Tim Walz requested in his budget proposal.

Last summer’s riots caused an estimated $500 million in damage across the Twin Cities, but the debate over who will pay for the repairs has raged on ever since.

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Minnesota Cities’ Police Settlements Ranged from $50,000 to $24.3 Million from 2018-20

Freedom of Information Act research conducted by The Center Square reveals Minnesota cities relied on taxpayers to foot police-settlement payouts ranging from $50,000 to more than $24 million between 2018 and 2020.

Police settlements compensate the public for violated rights and also avoid clogging the court system.

Still, over the past few decades, taxpayers are being left with more significant bills.

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St. Paul City Council Approves Creation of Slavery Reparations Committee

The St. Paul City Council unanimously voted to approve the creation of a committee dedicated to researching reparations for descendants of slavery in order to engage in “racial healing.”

The resolution, which was approved during a Wednesday night meeting, names the new group the Saint Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission. The main goal of the committee is to “make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism in the City of Saint Paul.”

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ANTIFA Carries Sign Telling Minnesota Trump Supporters to Kill Themselves

A group of agitators dressed in black-bloc attire and carrying makeshift shields crashed a pro-Trump demonstration outside the Minnesota governor’s residence Saturday.

Activists with Hold the Line Minnesota have been holding “Stop the Steal” protests outside Gov. Tim Walz’s home every weekend since Nov. 3, part of a national movement to draw attention to alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.

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Citizens Concerned About Election Integrity to March for Trump in Every State Capitol, Washington on Saturday

A series of marches supporting President Donald Trump and to demand election integrity are being held throughout the country at noon local time on Saturday.

The March for Trump will be held in every state capitol as well as at Freedom Plaza, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., according to the event website. The website links to America First Projects.

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Minnesota’s Bonding Bill Includes More Than $11 Million for ‘Response to Civil Unrest’

The $1.9 billion bonding bill passed last week by the Minnesota Legislature includes upwards of $11 million for “costs incurred” during May’s Minneapolis riots.

The bill appropriates more than $5 million from the trunk highway fund and $3.5 million from the general fund to the Department of Public Safety “for costs incurred related to the response to civil unrest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.”

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St. Paul Primary Winner John Thompson Leads BLM Protest to Police Union Leader’s Neighborhood, Calls for Violence

Over the weekend, Democratic candidate John Thompson spoke at a Black Lives Matter protest by the home of police union leader Lt. Bob Kroll. Thompson recently won the Democratic primary for District 62A in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Multiple video coverages of Thompson’s seven-minute speech show him calling for violence against the “racists” of Hugo, Minnesota.

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Minnesota House Committee Declares ‘Racism Embedded in Foundation of America’

A Minnesota House committee approved a resolution Tuesday declaring racism a statewide “public health crisis.”

The resolution passed out of the House Rules Committee and now heads to the House floor for debate, with a final vote expected for July 20.

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Walz Calls Another Special Session, Says He Will Extend COVID-19 Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz said he plans to extend his COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration for another 30 days when lawmakers return to St. Paul Monday for a special session.

The governor announced Friday night that he has convened a special legislative session for July 13, the same day his peacetime emergency declaration is set to expire. According to Minnesota law, the governor must convene both houses of the Legislature if he wishes to extend a peacetime emergency when the Legislature is not in session.

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DOJ Announces Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force In Response to ‘Extraordinary Spike’ in Violence

The Department of Justice announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force Wednesday in response to an “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crimes.”

Erica MacDonald, U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said the task force will bring together federal and state resources to assist local law enforcement in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting individuals responsible for gun violence.

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Republican Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Sell Minnesota’s $6.9 Million COVID-19 Morgue

A Republican lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require Minnesota to sell a facility it purchased for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.

Due to a projected surge in COVID-19 fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million in May to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains.” As of early June, however, the facility had yet to be used.

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Walz Expected to Call Another Special Session to Extend Emergency Powers

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session.

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GOP State Senators Ask Minnesota Historical Society to Return Columbus Statue to Capitol

Two Republican state senators asked the Minnesota Historical Society to repair and restore a Christopher Columbus statue that was torn down outside the Minnesota Capitol three weeks ago.

Although the incident took place in broad daylight and was recorded by countless news stations and reporters, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said last week the investigation remains ongoing.

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Three More Charged with Arson in Connection to Twin Cities Riots

Three more Minnesotans are facing federal arson charges in connection to the late May riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Both Matthew Scott White, 31, and Mohamed Hussein Abdi, 19, were arrested on June 29 and charged with one count of arson.

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Three More Charged with Arson in Connection to Twin Cities Riots

Three more Minnesotans are facing federal arson charges in connection to the late May riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Both Matthew Scott White, 31, and Mohamed Hussein Abdi, 19, were arrested on June 29 and charged with one count of arson.

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‘Train Wreck’ Special Session Cost Estimated $108,000

The Minnesota Legislature’s recent special session ended with no major accomplishments, but the eight-day session will still cost taxpayers an estimated $108,000.

The special session concluded on June 20 after Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House failed to reach an agreement on police reform legislation, the allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds, and other leftover business from the regular session, such as a borrowing package for public infrastructure projects.

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Two Weeks Later, Investigation Into Toppling of Minnesota’s Christopher Columbus Statue Still Ongoing

It’s been two weeks since a Christopher Columbus statue was toppled outside the Minnesota Capitol, but the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the investigation remains ongoing.

A spokesperson for the agency told KSTP chief political reporter Tom Hauser that the “investigation continues as the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] works to identify other participants in the incident, beyond the leader.”

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St. Paul Saints to Play Season in Sioux Falls for Now Because of ‘Capacity Restrictions’

The St. Paul Saints announced Friday that the team will be participating in a 60-game season beginning July 3, but all games will be played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until “capacity restrictions for outdoor events have relaxed.”

The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball said the shortened season will run from July 3 to September 10, concluding with a championship series between the top two teams. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs.

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Resolution to End Walz’s Peacetime Emergency Fails to Pass, But Receives Bipartisan Support

Yet another resolution to end Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency declaration was rejected Friday, but this time the proposal received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

The resolution passed the Republican-controlled Senate in a vote of 38-29, with three Democratic senators joining Republicans in voting to end the governor’s emergency powers, which first took effect March 13 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Ramsey County Board Wants COVID Morgue Relocated, Worried About ‘Taboo of Dead Bodies’

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners expressed its “alarm and concern” regarding the state’s recent purchase of a commercial facility in St. Paul for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.

“On behalf of the Ramsey County Board, we are writing to express our alarm and concern regarding your decision to purchase the former Bix site for use as a morgue during the COVID-19 emergency. We fear that this location will only exacerbate the challenges facing the surrounding community, which is already one of the poorest, most vulnerable, and most disinvested in Minnesota,” the board said in a letter sent last week to Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly.

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After Protesters Tear Down Columbus Statue, Minnesota Lt. Governor Welcomes Removal

The protesters and activists who tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus outside the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday faced virtually no resistance from state leaders or law enforcement.

In fact, after the statue was toppled over, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said Minnesota “is long overdue for a hard look at the symbols, statues, and icons that were created without the input of many of our communities.”

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St. Paul Man Charged with Attempted Murder for Shooting at Police During Riots

One Minnesota man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at police officers during unrest in Minneapolis last week, while two others face federal charges for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails into a suburban government building, according to charges made public Tuesday.

The charges are the latest to stem from unrest following the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, ignoring Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

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Jail Records Contradict Claims That Most Rioters Are from Out of State

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Gov. Tim Walz all have suggested that many of the rioters wreaking havoc on the Twin Cities are from out of state, but jail records seem to show otherwise.

“We’ve seen long-term, institutional businesses overridden. We’ve seen community institutions set on fire. And I want to be very, very clear, the people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents. They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything that we have built over the last several decades. The dynamic has changed over the last several days,” Frey said during a joint Saturday press conference.

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VIDEOS: Businesses Across Twin Cities Burned to the Ground, Residents Work to Clean Up

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – More than 200 businesses across the Twin Cities have been vandalized, looted, or burned in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was allegedly murdered Monday night by a Minneapolis police officer.

After setting fire to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct Thursday night, rioters made their way to the Fifth Precinct Friday, reducing a nearby Wells Fargo and U.S. Post Office to rubble.

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A City in Ruins: Three Nights of Riots Leave South Minneapolis Looking Like War Zone

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – Three consecutive nights of rioting in response to the alleged murder of an unarmed black man at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer have left stretches of the city in ruins, producing scenes most accurately described as a war zone.

Officer Derek Chauvin, the man filmed pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed George Floyd, was arrested Friday on charges of murder and manslaughter. He and three colleagues involved in the incident were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department Tuesday.

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Twin Cities Mayors Don’t Want to Let Churches Reopen, Archbishop Hits Back

The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, both Democrats, said in a recent statement that they want churches in their cities to continue to “hold services remotely.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter issued a join statement Saturday after Gov. Tim Walz announced he would allow churches to resume in-person worship.

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Bonfire Restaurants Latest COVID Casualty, Announces Permanent Closure of All Locations

Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.

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Trump Tweets Support for Hundreds of Minnesotans Who Gathered Friday to Protest Gov. Walz

President Donald Trump expressed his support Friday for the hundreds of Minnesotans who gathered outside the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul to protest Gov. Tim Walz.

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Minnesota Group Wants Unemployment Insurance for Illegal Immigrants

A progressive group in Minnesota wants state and national lawmakers to pass a “stronger unemployment insurance package” that includes benefits for illegal immigrants.

TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive community organizing group, released a list of policy proposals that it would like to see included in any stimulus package passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Shelter in Place Order Now in Effect in Minnesota: Here’s What You Need to Know

Gov. Tim Walz has issued a statewide shelter-in-place order for Minnesota to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order took effect Friday at midnight and will remain in effect until 5:00 p.m. on April 10. As opposed to a complete lockdown, a shelter-in-place order still allows for many everyday activities and permits numerous industries to continuing working.

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Star Tribune Was Refusing to Run Ad Warning of Economic Consequences of Walz’s Coronavirus Response

The Star Tribune initially refused to run an advertisement in its print edition that was critical of Gov. Tim Walz’s “severe reactions” to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Minnesota Had 116,000 New Unemployment Claims Last Week

Minnesota has seen 182,000 workers apply for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said Thursday.

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Gov. Walz Self-Quarantines After Contact with COVID-19 Patient

  Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday morning that he is in self-quarantine at the Governor’s Residence after contacting someone with the coronavirus. “After learning I had contact with someone who has COVID-19, I plan to lead by example and work from home. I currently have no symptoms and will continue…

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Senate Leaders Signal Disagreement with Walz’s ‘Unilateral and Unchecked’ Coronavirus Actions

Gov. Tim Walz has issued 12 executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but Senate Republicans think some of his actions aren’t within his constitutional authority.

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