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Ex-Minneapolis cop Chauvin’s bail set at $1.25 million

Plus: George Floyd to be laid to rest in Houston Tuesday; federal charge say St. Paul man helped torch MPD’s Third Precinct; man, 5-year-old daughter shot at White Bear Lake boat launch; and more.

Derek Chauvin
Ramsey County Jail
Derek Chauvin
A trio of CNN reporters say, “Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the man begged for his life, had his bail set at $1.25 million during a Monday hearing. Like his fellow officers who were arrested, Chauvin was offered a reduced bail of $1 million if he agrees to certain conditions, including that he not work in security or law enforcement, not have contact with Floyd’s family, not leave Minnesota and surrender all firearms and permits.”

The New York Times reports: “After the sound and the fury, weeks of demonstrations and anguished calls for racial justice, the man whose death gave rise to an international movement, and whose last words — “I can’t breathe” — have been a rallying cry, will be laid to rest on Tuesday at a private funeral in Houston. George Floyd, who was 46, will then be buried in a grave next to his mother’s.

In the Star Tribune, Jennifer Bjorhus and Liz Sawyer report: “Each year, hundreds of complaints of police misconduct — from citizens and from inside the Minneapolis Police Department itself — land before a civilian review board tasked with investigating them. Only a tiny fraction result in the discipline of an officer. Instead, the civilian review authority and the MPD have increasingly relied on ‘coaching’ officers accused of misconduct, a Star Tribune analysis of data compiled by the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review shows. This gentler form of corrective action for low-level violations has a decided benefit for police.”

For MPR, Riham Feshir writes: “The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has taken on more police death investigations in recent years, becoming the go-to agency for both high-profile and relatively unknown cases involving police use of force. But the agency’s experience doesn’t provide comfort to many community members who continue to grieve the deaths of black men at the hands of police. The BCA is now investigating one of the most high-profile police death cases in the country after then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of an African American man for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. George Floyd, 46, already in handcuffs, repeatedly pleaded with officers to let him breathe as Chauvin refused to let go.”

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For MPR, Tim Nelson and the AP say, “George Floyd’s death was the breaking point for some Minneapolis civic leaders, who now say the only way to fix the city’s embattled police department is to take it apart. But it’s not clear how they would do that, and groups that have spent years shining a light on police brutality aren’t even sure it’s the answer. … Dismantling an entire department, however, is exceedingly rare. It was done in Camden, N.J. and was talked about — though ultimately discarded — in Ferguson, Mo., after the death of Michael Brown. Such a move comes with legal issues, including a city charter that stipulates a police force, plus a union-protected workforce.

The Pioneer Press’ Kristi Belcamino writes: “A man and his 5-year-old daughter were shot at a White Bear Lake boat launch Monday afternoon, said authorities, who were continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident. The 24-year-old man drove himself and his daughter to the hospital. The 5-year-old girl was in serious but stable condition. Her father had non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Ramsey County sheriff’s office.”

Says the AP, “Federal prosecutors on Monday charged a St. Paul man who allegedly admitted helping fuel the fire that destroyed a Minneapolis police station with aiding and abetting arson on a night when protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd turned violent. Branden Michael Wolfe, 23, was due to make his first federal court appearance Tuesday in St. Paul. … According to the criminal complaint, Wolfe was arrested June 3 a few blocks from a Menard’s home improvement store in St. Paul where he was fired earlier in the day from his job as a security guard. He was wearing body armor with his name written on duct tape on the back, a police utility belt and carrying a baton as he tried to get into the store, the complaint said.”

John Shipley at the Pioneer Press says, “St. Paul Police have released surveillance video they say clears one of their officers of being the riot provocateur known on social media as ‘Umbrella Man.’ The officer, Jacob Pederson, had been accused on social media of being the man dressed in black, wearing a gas mask, holding an umbrella and using a hammer to break windows in a south Minneapolis Auto Zone on the evening of May 27  … Police immediately pushed back on the accusation, saying Pederson was not in Minneapolis, and on Monday released surveillance video they say exonerates the officer.”

Says Hannah Jones at City Pages, “The water pollution problem in Minnesota farm country is worse than we thought. Most of the run-off pollution comes in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus, commonly found in commercial fertilizers despite their nasty effects on both water quality and human health. Between 1995 and 2018, the average nitrate contamination in Minnesota’s 72 agricultural counties’ drinking water had shot up by 61 percent on average, according to the Environmental Working Group. Another report from that organization tracked how much nitrogen and phosphorous was sold in each county as fertilizer. Then researchers mapped out nearby cattle, hog, or poultry feedlots, where animals are confined and fattened for food. The reason: Besides fertilizer, there was another notable source of nitrogen and phosphorus seeping into the nearby fields. And that would be… well… shit.”

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