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Minneapolis Police not tracking body-camera policy compliance

Plus: DFLers consider special election politics in timing of Fischbach suit; Frey may not re-appoint Civil Rights Department head after complaints; Trump tariffs may threaten Wisconsin cheese; and more.

MinnPost file photo by Bill Kelley

How about body cameras for body cameras? The Star Tribune’s Adam Belz reports: “The Minneapolis Police Department is not tracking whether all officers are routinely activating body cameras and has not fully staffed the office tasked with reviewing body camera footage, despite the City Council’s directing it to do so last fall. … The department’s struggle to get officers to use the cameras came under intense scrutiny after the police killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, where the two officers who responded failed to record the encounter. In October, the council instructed police to report quarterly starting in the beginning of 2018 on how often body cameras are activated when department policy requires it.”

Today’s legislative 3D chess. The Forum News Service’s Don Davis reports in the Duluth News Tribune:The chance of winning a special election, and thus taking control of the Minnesota Senate, will be a major factor as Democrats decide if and when to sue the Senate president, who also is lieutenant governor. … On the first day of the 2018 legislative session Tuesday, Feb. 20, one senator protested the fact that Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville, remains in the Senate after she automatically became lieutenant governor when that job opened. No formal action was taken against Fischbach. … ‘It is something we have to give some real thought to,’ Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said about when to file a lawsuit, or appeal dismissal of one that already was filed.”

Something wrong at the Department of Civil Rights? The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix writes: “Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is reconsidering the future of the city’s top civil rights official in the wake of intensifying criticism of her department’s hate crime hot line. … The mayor had planned to reappoint Velma Korbel this week, but delayed the decision after a Feb. 11 report in the Star Tribune about problems with the Department of Civil Rights hot line for people to report hate crimes. The employee hired to run the hot line, Kristin Johnson, said she was fired after raising concerns that it was poorly planned, possibly violated privacy rights and had no system for dealing with complaints from outside the city.”

How much Wisconsin cheese ends up in Europe anyway? NPR’s Scott Horsley reports (via MPR): “If the Trump administration starts a trade war, Kentucky bourbon may get caught in the cross-fire. … The administration is weighing strict new limits on imported steel and aluminum in hopes of shoring up home-grown metal industries. … With overseas sales of around $1 billion a year, bourbon is just a drop in the barrel of overall U.S. exports. But it’s big business in Kentucky, home of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Likewise, cheese from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin could be on the cutting board if America’s trading partners fight back with import restrictions of their own. Orange juice from the swing state of Florida could also feel the squeeze.”

In other news…

Profiles in courage:Bemidji school chief cancels planned school violence protest” [MPR]

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That’s a lotta doe:Deer-carcass hauler prevails in his $420K legal battle with Anoka County” [Star Tribune]

YIKES:St. Paul man admits to crushing skull of intruder and hiding his body in his garage” [Pioneer Press]

Minnesotan grabs gold:Afton Skiier Jessie Diggins Wins Olympic Gold” [WCCO]

Not too shabby, either:Out with a bronze: Vonn nabs podium finish in final Olympics downhill” [Star Tribune]

Local angle alert:Rev. Billy Graham’s rise began in Minnesota” [MPR]

(And subsquently fell out of favor due to overexposure):How humble Hamm’s beer became cool” [City Pages]

A rememberance of local drummer Norm Rogers:A lesson before dying” [Southwest Journal]

OK:Sting and Shaggy recorded part of their new album in Minneapolis” [Current]

Now that we all love 3M again, here are some Post-It facts:Post-its” [Quartz]