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St. Paul city attorney considers riot charges for I-94 protestors

Plus: NRA silence on Philando Castile; Minnesota’s racial justice movement; special session unlikely before primary; and more.

People being detained on I-94 during Saturday night's protest.
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

No bail until charging decision is reached. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports: “The legal consequences for the dozens of protesters arrested over the weekend on Interstate 94 and jailed are being weighed by the St. Paul city attorney, who on Monday described the sometimes violent blockade as ‘a full-scale riot.’ … City Attorney Samuel Clark said his office will decide ‘as soon as reasonably possible’ whether to charge any of those arrested with third-degree riot, a gross misdemeanor.”

What’s the simplest explanation here? The Washington Post’s Brian Fung wonders about the NRA’s curious silence on the shooting of licensed gun carrier Philando Castile: “After a Minnesota police officer fatally shot a black man on Wednesday, gun control advocates weren’t the only ones criticizing the National Rifle Association. Some of the blowback was coming from within the organization. … The NRA is facing internal division as its members argue that the group did not do enough to defend gun owners’ rights by speaking out on behalf of Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minn., who was shot to death during a traffic stop.”

Governing Magazine looks at the background of Minnesota’s racial justice movement, leading up to the protests over the killing of Philando Castile. Daniel C. Vock writes: “Over the last decade, several groups have emerged in Minnesota that explicitly focus on issues of race and how it affects everything from the environment to police brutality. But the police killing of Jamar Clark last November galvanized the movement. … Black activists in Minnesota made more progress in the statehouse than in the courthouse this year. A coalition of black groups proposed a United Black Legislative Agenda that focused on addressing racial disparities in the economy, criminal justice system and immigration policies. Dayton, the governor, pledged to spend $100 million to support the agenda.”

Internal dust-up at Delta over postings related to the Minnesota and Louisiana shootings: “Delta responds to post removal on social media after backlash” [WXIA]

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Special session hope springs eternal. The Mankato Free Press’ Trey Mewes reports: “Legislators had hoped Gov. Mark Dayton would come to terms with House Republicans before July 1, when tax legislation would take effect under a new fiscal year, but those hopes were dashed when Dayton and Republican leadership appeared frustrated with each other after a June 21 meeting. … Now, lawmakers say this year’s elections will make it difficult to schedule further meetings between Dayton and top House and Senate leaders. … ‘I don’t think it will happen before the primary,’ said Rep. Clark Johnson, DFL-North Mankato.”

In other news…

Big loss for the state: “Obit: Jeff Sandell, brains behind, police scanner monitoring site” [Star Tribune]

Deer me: “Minnesota elk expansion on hold” [Grand Forks Herald]

Turtle GPS: “Wood turtle researchers step in to help” [Duluth News Tribune]

Congrats: “Ethan Casson named chief executive officer of Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx” []

Best of both worlds: “The 10 best Minnesota coffee beers” [City Pages]