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Noor trial spotlights BCA’s treatment of police officers under investigation

Plus: Minneapolis police union to offer free ‘warrior-style’ training in defiance of mayor; ‘Bdote’ signs at Ft. Snelling upset lawmakers; state Senate Republicans release tax plan; and more.

Mohamed Noor
Jon Collins and Riham Feshir of MPR report, “It is standard practice for investigators to give police officers a few days to collect their thoughts, but Noor’s trial has brought greater scrutiny to that kind of deferential treatment toward police officers. It’s long been a concern about the BCA — the agency that typically oversees police shooting investigations in Minnesota. What agents have characterized as simple police courtesy is viewed by some as tacit support for the police by investigators charged with probing an officer’s potential wrongdoing.

The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany writes: “In open defiance of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, the union that represents the city’s roughly 900 rank-and-file police officers announced that it is partnering with a national police organization to offer free ‘warrior-style’ training for any officer who wants it. … The announcement comes in response to Frey’s ban of the popular training style, which he first revealed in his State of the City address last week. Frey said at the time that Minneapolis would become the first department in the country to eliminate ‘fear-based’ training.”

For the Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick tells us: “Minnesota House members revealed Wednesday whether they believe humans are causing climate change. It broke largely along party lines: 79 lawmakers, including all 75 Democrats, voted yes, and 50 Republicans voted no. Five Republicans did not vote. They voted on this sentence: ‘The legislature finds and declares that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities are a key cause of climate change.’ That was all it was. No money, no regulations.”

WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports: “Fort Snelling sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, which the Dakota people called ‘Bdote.’ But visitor signs at the fort using the word ‘Bdote’ have some lawmakers upset. ‘I do not agree with what the [Minnesota Historical Society] is engaged in doing, and I believe it to be revisionist history,’ said Sen. Scott Newman, (R) Hutchinson. … The Senate Finance Committee is using the history snit to cut the historical society’s budget by $4 million a year — an 18% cut that could mean 80 layoffs and the closure of popular sites. Democrats say it reeks of retribution.”

For the Forum News Service, Don Davis reports, “‘We are statistically insignificant.’ That is why little attention is paid to what many describe as an epidemic of murdered and missing American Indian women. ‘Native women are invisible at best and disposable at worst,’ Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, a member of northwestern Minnesota’s White Earth Nation, said Tuesday at a state Capitol meeting about missing and murdered American Indians. American Indians are a small percentage of the overall population, Flanagan said, making it easy for some people to ignore the issue.”

For the Star Tribune, Adam Belz says, “Public enemy No. 1 for corn and soybean farmers, the Palmer amaranth weed, has made new incursions into Minnesota by way of livestock feed, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says. Cows have eaten remnants of the weed in feed, then eliminated it in manure that farmers spread on fields. This is bad news for corn and soybean farmers, since the weed grows and proliferates so quickly, and because it is resistant to multiple herbicides.”

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At Gizmodo, Tom McKay writes, “Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn wants to reopen negotiations with Wisconsin officials over its heavily subsidized, troubled plans to build a massive facility in the state, CNBC reported on Tuesday, though the exact nature of what is up for discussion is not clear. … Numerous projects announced in the state appear to have stalled out—the Verge recently reported that some Foxconn-run projects appear to be empty or understaffed, while other buildings were never actually purchased, and there did not seem to be any plan for making good on promised investments.”

Tim Pugmire of MPR says, “A tax plan released Wednesday by Republicans who control the Minnesota Senate not only avoids tax increases but provides tax cuts totaling $800 million, according to Sen. Roger Chamberlain, a Republican from Lino Lakes, who chairs the taxes committee. … The Senate bill reduces the second-tier income tax rate by a quarter of 1 percent. For married couples filing jointly, the second tier covers annual taxable income from about $39,000 to $154,000. For a single filer, it would be income between about $26,500 and $87,000. It would be the first income tax rate cut in nearly two decades.”

This from the AP: “A north Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty in connection with what federal authorities believe to be the largest single methamphetamine bust in Minnesota history. Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Fernando Ramos-Meza pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to distribute about 191 pounds of meth. Ramos-Meza and three other suspects were indicted in November.”