In The New York Times, John Eligon and Mitch Smith report: “The mayor and the police chief of this city said on Thursday that Justine Damond, an unarmed Australian woman killed last weekend by a Minneapolis police officer, should not have been shot. The blunt and public critiques were the strongest condemnations yet from officials here, but the mayor and the chief stopped short of calling the shooting legally unjustified. ‘Justine didn’t have to die,’ Chief Janee Harteau said, citing information released by state officials who are investigating the case. ‘I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers.’”
A Star Tribune story, by Emma Nelson, says: “In a public call for changes in police policy in the wake of the shooting Saturday, which is under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), [Mayor Betsy] Hodges said in a blog post Thursday that she expects police to activate their body cameras as soon as they begin responding to a call. She also echoed a previous call from Council Member Linea Palmisano, who represents the ward where Damond lived, for an independent audit of the body camera policy.”
Liz Burke for Australia’s news.com.au writes: “In her first public appearance since the Saturday night incident, Police Chief Janee Harteau admitted Ms. Damond’s death at the hands of a policeman had now made people scared to call 911 for help. … The city’s most senior police officer would not guarantee Officer Noor would be stripped of his badge, but said she had assured Ms. Damond’s family that justice would be served. Ms. Harteau said she had not been in contact with Noor, and said she would like to compel him to co-operate with investigators.”
Other than Comcast (and Wells Fargo), does any company routinely get worse publicity than Monsanto? For MPR, Mark Steil reports, “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is investigating about two dozen complaints from farmers about the weed killer dicamba. Dicamba is used on soybean fields that have been genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide. But Minnesota farmers have joined hundreds in the southern U.S. who allege that drifting dicamba hurts non-resistant fields.” That’s right … drifting dicamba.
Of course, there are more of us. The AP says, “Big summer job gains have pushed Minnesota’s total employment above 3 million for the first time in state history. The Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that the state added 4,400 new jobs in June. That leaves the state’s unemployment rate at 3.7 percent — below the national average of 4.4 percent unemployment. Job growth in leisure and hospitality led the way while manufacturing and government industries also added jobs in June.”
Rowing the showboat. John Silver for the Chicago Sun-Times says, “ESPN will produce a four-part series on Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck as he begins his first-year at the Big Ten school. The ever-enthusiastic Fleck, entered the national consciousness last season with his infectious personality and ‘Row the Boat’ mantra as he led Western Michigan to an undefeated regular season and Cotton Bowl berth. ‘Being P.J. Fleck,’ following the coach in his day-to-day life, will premiere at 8 p.m. August 2 on ESPNU. The network will air new episodes on the next three Wednesdays.” Who is that guy’s agent?
Speaking of football. An MPR story says, “A Carleton College football player has been charged with one count of third-degree sexual assault. The criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court said Taariq Vanegas, 19, of Seattle, Wash., had sex with a classmate after a hazing ritual. During the event in the early hours of April 28, the woman said they drank wine, jello shots, hard liquor and beer, while being initiated into a group called DTX. The event would later result in Carleton suspending 13 students.”
MPR’s Tim Pugmire writes, “Two Minnesota state representatives, one Republican and one Democrat, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state House and Speaker Kurt Daudt over legislative pay. Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, and Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, are challenging Daudt’s decision not to implement the pay raise that was set by a constitutionally mandated salary panel. The Legislative Salary Council increased lawmakers’ annual salary from $31,140 to $45,000. The Senate moved forward with the new salary on July 1, but the House did not. It’s the first pay adjustment since 1999.” Just take it out of the next stadium funding request.
Finally, a correction. For a Glean item yesterday on a ruling about city inspections of rental properties, I should have said, “The inspectors won,” not the “owners.” My deepest apologies.