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Judge overseeing Floyd trial threatens change of venue over officials’ statements about case

Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao
Hennepin County Jail
Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao

Says an MPR story, “The Hennepin County judge overseeing the trial of four former police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd last month warned elected officials against making public statements about the merits of the case, saying they endanger the defendants’ right to a fair trial and could lead to a change in venue. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order on attorneys, but he said one is likely if public statements continue.”

In the Star Tribune, Mara Klecker writes: “Officials at the University of Minnesota as well as the cities of Edina and Rochester on Monday announced new requirements on wearing face masks in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Edina City Council decided to move forward with a policy requiring face masks in all city facilities and in any indoor public place where proper social distancing is difficult.… The U will require face coverings in all public spaces. Mankato’s City Council opted to hold a public hearing for an emergency ordinance that would mandate face coverings in indoor public spaces. And Rochester’s council voted to require people to wear masks when they’re inside city facilities.”

In the Pioneer Press, Mary Divine says, “The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday called on officials in Stillwater to take ‘concrete actions’ to ensure the safety of people of color after bikers on Saturday allegedly harassed and intimated a Muslim mother and her child. … Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski said police on Monday were still trying to connect with Rashid. ‘She needs to work with investigators to figure out what is going on’, he said.”

Says Emily Haavik for KARE-TV, “The public comment period is now open for the Minneapolis City Council’s proposed charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department. The amendment establishes a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, and removes the references to ‘police department’ in the city charter. The charter amendment is on a path that would eventually bring it to a public vote on the November ballot. Members of the public can submit their comments online now.”

A story in Slate by Ruth Graham says, “In the month since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the scene of his death has become a sprawling unofficial gathering place and mourning site. …One visitor to the site told a reporter a few weeks ago that it was ‘sacred ground.For some Christian pastors and evangelists, the site is also becoming literal sacred ground: the heart of what they describe as a spiritual movement sprawling far beyond Minnesota. ‘I would describe this as revival and awakening,’ said Joshua Giles, a local pastor who has been coming to the site to pray and preach for several weeks.”

For KSTP-TV Alex Jokich reports, “Police are looking for a trailer full of donations stolen from a Minneapolis neighborhood Monday. ‘It makes me want to cry that I can’t be able to get out and help the people that I want to help today,’ said John Martin, who runs a group called Parent to Parent. The group has been distributing items to families in need in North Minneapolis. Martin said the group had spent the weekend collecting food, household supplies and diapers, which were being stored in a trailer lent to them by a church.”

KSTP-TV’s Ryan Raiche reports: “With state lawmakers failing to pass sweeping reforms to ban the use of neck restraints by police officers in the wake of George Floyd’s death, several departments are proactively tweaking their policies to either limit or outright ban the use of the controversial tactic.5 INVESTIGATES has learned at least four other police agencies – Ramsey County, Sherburne County, the Department of Natural Resources and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – have all tweaked their policies since Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25.”

Dana Ferguson writes for the Forum News Service: “Minnesotans with diabetes will have a safety net to provide affordable insulin beginning Wednesday, July 1. Part of a new program to help diabetic Minnesotans gain access to insulin supplies is set to take effect Wednesday. Insulin manufacturers are set to pay for the supplies to fund it. The measure is one of a handful of new state laws that are set to take effect this week. Other laws granting funding for farm safety measures and additional incentives for solar energy generation are also set to come online Wednesday.”

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 06/30/2020 - 08:01 am.

    lol…a little late on the cautioning. There is already zero chance a Hennepin county jury will hear this case.

  2. Submitted by Susan Maricle on 06/30/2020 - 01:08 pm.

    With the presence of social media, the only place they could find an impartial jury is Mars.
    Changing the venue, if anything, would be a financial punishment to the host county. They would lose out on revenue from restaurants, lodging, and other expenses incurred by the media.

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