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Castile cop took ‘Bulletproof Warrior’ training course

Plus: racial disparities in St. Anthony arrest rates; Ryan Cos. reveals Vikings stadium office tower design; Sports Facilities Authority proposes $300k bird study; Bakk talks special session; and more.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez
Courtesy of the City of Falcon Heights

Yeah, this is what we’re looking for in community police work. In the Strib, Jennifer Bjorhus writes, “The seminar was called ‘The Bulletproof Warrior,’ and the instructors urged the law enforcement officers in the hotel conference room to make the decision to shoot if they ever feel their lives are threatened. Videos of bloody shootouts between police and civilians emphasized a key point: Hesitation can kill you. In the audience at the May 2014 seminar was a young St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, city records show. He’s now known around the world as the officer who killed Philando Castile minutes after making a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last week.” And how many hours of gun training vs. how many hours of “de-escalation” training?

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Kyle Potter of the AP reports, “Police in the suburban St. Paul area where a black man was shot and killed during a traffic stop have disproportionately arrested African-Americans, according to an analysis of data provided by the department that shows nearly half of the people arrested this year in the heavily white community were black. The St. Anthony Police Department provided arrest and citation data in response to requests from The Associated Press and other media after the death of 32-year-old Philando Castile, who was shot several times by an officer in Falcon Heights last week.” Think of it as a toll for passing through.

Just watch the signage, folks. For the Strib Nicole Norfleet says, “Ryan Cos. on Wednesday revealed the finished look of its proposed 17-story office tower at the Block 1 site across from U.S. Bank Stadium. The building is one of the final steps in Ryan’s makeover of the five blocks near the soon-to-open football field that will be the home of the Minnesota Vikings. The building is at 728 S. 4th St. in downtown Minneapolis, atop a new parking ramp dubbed Block 1.” Are personal leasing licenses required?

Also in stadium news: You could raise a lot of birds for $300k. Rochelle Olson of the Strib says, “Three years and $300,000. That’s what the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) proposes for the duration and cost of a study to determine whether the glassy new $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium turns out to be a deadly draw for migratory birds. After 30 months of construction, the ribbon-cutting for the new stadium is a week away. For the past couple of years, environmentalists concerned about bird fatalities have unfailingly attended MSFA meetings, using brief public comment periods to voice their worries.”

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WDIO-TV in Duluth reports, “WDIO has learned that state leaders are nearing a deal for a special session. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk made the announcement Wednesday during a groundbreaking ceremony at the International Falls Airport, which is seeking bonding money during a possible special session. ‘I think in principle, the governor and the speaker and I have an agreement about what a special session looks like,’ Bakk said.” Take your time, guys. We don’t want you to sprain anything.

A  list of suggestions for a Minnesota road trip, by Tatiana Craine at City Pages includes this: “Head 15 minutes north into Grand Marais and go straight to World’s Best Donuts where the little doughy bits of heaven live up to their namesake. Get the Skizzle, a lumpy-looking sweet dough that has been stretched out, fried, and doused in sugar. One look at the line surely stretching out the door, and you’ll know you’ve hit the breakfast jackpot.” And bring me back a couple dozen. I’ll pay you Fair week.

Cute couple. WHO-TV in Des Moines has this story: “An Iowa sex offender and a southern Minnesota woman are both facing charges for human trafficking and the alleged sexual exploitation of a minor. On Friday, Polk County detectives and the United State Marshals Service executed a search warrant at a Runnells home, leading to the arrest of 50-year-old Michael Lee Williams of Runnells, and the filing of arrest warrants for 48-year-old Cynthia Mitteness of Mayer, Minnesota. Initially, on Thursday, authorities received information from a Carver County Minnesota detective that a sex abuse case happened in Polk County in early June of 2016. The case was originally discovered by the father of a 9-year-old female Minnesota resident after seeing ‘alarming social media messages’ between his wife, Mitteness, and Williams, according to authorities.”

I’m a witness. A foot of water over the road at the St. Croix state line bridge between Hinckley and Danbury yesterday. MPR’s Paul Huttner reports, “Monday’s intense storm… is still causing reverberations. The storm’s intense runoff into Lake Superior has pushed so much sediment into the lake it is visible from satellites in orbit. … According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ATALS-14 rainfall recurrence data, 9 inches of rain in a 24-hour period is about a 1-in-800 year event for Hinckley.”

And on the Prince beat, Dan Browning at the Strib writes, “A Carver County judge has authorized the special administrator overseeing Prince’s estate to examine confidential information in the files of a Minneapolis law firm that handled the late megastar’s second divorce, stating that they might contain relevant information about his potential heirs. The Minneapolis law firm Henson & Efron represented Prince in his divorce from Manuela Testolini. The petition was filed in Hennepin County in 2006, and the divorce decree was entered in 2007. There were a number of additional filings through August 2010 — including a judgment of $276,339 — but the contents of the files were sealed by a court order.” Hmmmm. Interrrrresting.

A Washington Post story says, “After Philando Castile was shot to death last week by a police officer in Minnesota, his girlfriend said he told the officer he had a gun and a license to carry it legally, and was reaching for the proof in his wallet. The shooting led many to wonder whether the National Rifle Association would defend Castile’s Second Amendment rights. … But the group is in a bind, said Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of the Violence Policy Center, who has written extensively on the history and politics of the NRA. He said the group’s dilemma about black gun ownership dates to a shift in marketing strategy in the 1970s and 1980s. ‘Until it was recognized that there was a longtime decline in household gun ownership, the NRA essentially ignored communities of color – blacks and Latinos. When they made an appearance in NRA publications, it was in the context of a threat,’ he said.”

A tectonic event. Says Michael Rand in the Strib, “The Minnesota State University, Mankato men’s hockey program has applied for membership in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), a preliminary move that calls into question the program’s future in its current league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).”