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St. Paul school board to reconsider placing police officers in high schools

Plus: feds charge Brainerd-area man in connection with burning down MPD’s third precinct HQ; St. Paul Mayor Carter delivers remarks on police reform to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; Minnesota state trooper on leave after being accused of texting himself nude photos of a woman he arrested; and more.

Central High School in St. Paul
MinnPost file photo by Erin Hinrichs

The Pioneer Press’ Josh Verges writes: “The St. Paul school board will decide next week whether to continue placing police officers at seven of its high schools. School district administrators are recommending the continuation of the school resource officer program despite a flurry of opposition following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Superintendent Joe Gothard said school district officials recently have received over 1,000 emails on the subject, most of which urged them to end the program. High school principals, however, think the officers should stay, he said.”

In the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemoyer writes: “Federal authorities on Tuesday charged a 23-year-old Brainerd-area man in connection with burning down the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building amid rioting over the May 25 police killing of George Floyd. Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23, made his first appearance in federal court in Colorado, two days after being arrested in Breckenridge, Colo., as he traveled west along Interstate 70. Robinson … was recorded by security cameras tossing incendiary devices at the Third Precinct building the night it burned, according to a federal criminal complaint.”

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Frederick Melo writes in the Pioneer Press, “Recalling ‘superhero officers’ who knew him by name as a child and efforts at police reform in his own city, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter added his voice to a national policing debate on Tuesday when he delivered remarks to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. ‘It’s not just about hiring officers (of color)’, said Carter, in response to a question about the impact of diversity in hiring within police forces. ‘It’s about understanding people who are part of the community in the first place. … If you know the children in the community … you come up with a whole lot of reasons not to shoot someone.’”

Brandt Williams at MPR says, “Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Tuesday pleaded for patience from the people of Minneapolis as well as from his own officers. Arradondo said he’s been getting reports of people interfering with police and emergency medical personnel, even as they’re administering life-saving procedures, such as administering Narcan to counteract opioid overdose. ‘I’m also asking the community to not impede our officers while they are performing their lawful duties’, Arradondo said during a media briefing Tuesday.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Jeremy Olson writes, “Minnesota is now meeting three of five ‘dial back’ targets that evaluate how the state is weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether it can ease up on restrictions designed to slow the spread of the infectious disease. Diagnostic testing has surged since the start of May above the state target of 50 tests per 10,000 people over seven days  …. The latest testing data also showed a positivity rate of less than 4%. Health officials see those two statistics working together — with total testing volume ensuring adequate surveillance, and a low positivity rate suggesting a slower spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”

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Also for KSTP-TV, Eric Chaloux reports: “A majority of Minnesotans feel the four now-fired Minneapolis police officers were appropriately charged in the George Floyd case, according to a new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. ‘I think it’s a demonstration that the popular culture is changing and public opinion is changing,’ former U.S. Attorney and current University of St. Thomas Law professor Rachel Paulose said about four police officers charged in the Floyd case.”

At KARE-TV, Estefan Saucedo reports, “Minneapolis Police Department’s Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo addressed the recent uptick of officers leaving the department. In total, there have been 19 ‘separations’ year-to-date, with seven officers having left the department since May 25 alone, according to Arradondo. The chief says the average number of separations per year is 40, and that he does not see an impact to public safety with the amount of separations thus far.”

KSTP-TV’s Eric Rasmussen reports: “A Minnesota state trooper is on leave, pending investigations by the State Patrol and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), accused of texting himself nude photos of a woman he arrested for drunk driving in March. According to a search warrant application filed by the BCA, the unidentified woman said 36 year-old Trooper Albert Kuehne seized her iPhone during a DUI arrest and when she got the phone back, three nude photos of herself had been sent to a number she did not recognize.”

Journalist Tony Webster reports: