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Groups sue to block hiring ex-special forces members to monitor Minnesota voting

Plus: Minneapolis police official demoted after “same old white boys” comment in Star Tribune interview; Department of Justice offers to help police departments avoid excessive use of force; Fargo mayor wants more COVID-19 safety measures put in place in North Dakota; and more.

Vote Here sign
MinnPost file photo by Karl Pearson-Cater

The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports: “Two advocacy groups are suing the Tennessee-based company that listed job postings seeking ex-soldiers to provide armed security at Minnesota polling places next month. … The Minnesota chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the League of Women Voters asked a federal judge on Tuesday to bar Atlas Aegis LLC from recruiting or sending ex-special forces members ‘to or near polling locations while polling is underway,’ arguing that the company’s actions amount to voter intimidation.

At KMOJ, Freddie Bell reports:One sentence in a Star Tribune article has led to the demotion of 28-year Minneapolis Police Department veteran, Deputy Chief/Chief of Staff, Art Knight. In an exclusive interview with KMOJ, Knight said Police Chief Medaria Arradondo demoted him to Lieutenant with no assignment for his statement Monday, which appeared in the Sunday October 18th edition of the Star Tribune newspaper. … The former Chief of Staff’s statement referenced the way the agency recruits, trains, and promotes ethnic minorities and women on the force. Knight told the paper, ‘if you keep employing the same tactics, you’re just going to get the same old white boys.’”

The AP’s Steve Karnowski and Amy Forliti report (via the Pioneer Press):The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has put $3 million toward the creation of a national center that will provide training and assistance to help law enforcement agencies prevent the use of excessive force, and officials expressed hope that Minneapolis would be the first city to take advantage of the resource. … The announcement was made in Minneapolis, where the police department has been under pressure to reform amid staff shortages and since the May 25 death of George Floyd, which touched off mass demonstrations against police brutality around the nation.”

The AP reports (via WCCO):The mayor of North Dakota’s largest city said Monday he’d like to see a statewide mask mandate as the coronavirus spins out of control and in the meantime invoked emergency powers to require face coverings in most settings that don’t involve family members. … Tim Mahoney, who in addition to being Fargo’s mayor is also a general surgeon, has been largely supportive of Republican Gov. Doug Burgum’s approach to managing the pandemic. But he said up to one in four people being tested for the virus in his city in recent weeks has tested positive, and Mahoney said it ‘would be great’ if Burgum issued an order for the entire state.”

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In other news…

Report from Stauber-Nystrom debate:8th District candidates make rapid work of Duluth television debate” [Duluth News Tribune]

Amazon expands:City Council approves new Amazon fulfillment center in Lakeville” [Star Tribune]

End of an era:Purple Onion Cafe closes in Dinkytown: University of Minnesota staple lasted 30 years” [City Pages]

Hmm:Minnesotan’s smoked, bacon-wrapped Oreos go viral, split opinion” [Bring Me The News]