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Minnesota’s GOP representatives won’t say if they’ll vote to block Biden certification

Plus: raid on the family home of Dolal Idd continues to raise questions; Minneapolis officials face renewed pressure to reopen intersection where George Floyd was killed; no criminal charges against police officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha; and more.

President-elect Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden announcing nominees and appointees to serve on his health and coronavirus response teams during a news conference.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports, “Republicans in Minnesota’s congressional delegation remained silent about their plans Tuesday as a historic vote approached to certify President-elect Joe Biden the winner of the Electoral College. … As many as 140 House Republicans will reportedly object to the Electoral College results. But it’s not yet clear where the four from Minnesota — Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber, Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach — will fall. None have made any public statement on their plans, nor did they respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday and Tuesday.”

In the New York Times, Shane Goldmacher writes: “Democrats inched closer to taking control of the Senate on Wednesday, winning one of the two Georgia seats up for grabs in a pair of runoff elections while the second contest remained too close to call. The Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and the pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, defeated Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, to become the first Black senator in Georgia history and the first Black Democrat to be elected to the Senate in the South. In the other contest, David Perdue, the Republican whose Senate term ended on Sunday, and his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, were neck-and-neck, with tens of thousands of votes still to be counted, many of them from Democratic-leaning areas.”

At MPR, Jon Collins reports, “Community members continue to question why law enforcement authorities conducted a high-risk raid on the family home of a 23-year-old man shot and killed by police last week. Family members have said sheriff’s deputies and state investigators entered their home with guns early Thursday, zip-tied the adults and didn’t tell them that their son, Dolal Idd, had been killed until after the search was over. … the mere presence of a weapon doesn’t mean that the raid would be risky for officers, said professor David Harris, who studies police behavior at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. ‘If you have people in the home who present some kind of risk, you can understand why police would do this,’ Harris said. ‘But we would want to know as members of the public, well, what did they know or think that led them to think that these terrified people would be some risk to them’?”

The Associated Press writes: “A Wisconsin prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralyzed and setting off sometimes violent protests in the city. Officer Rusten Sheskey’s shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, captured on bystander video, turned the nation’s spotlight on Wisconsin during a summer marked by protests over police brutality and racism. … Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said Tuesday that he ‘would have to disprove the clear expression of these officers that they had to fire a weapon to defend themselves.’”

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In the Star Tribune, Liz Navratil says, “Minneapolis officials are facing renewed pressure to reopen the intersection where George Floyd was killed after two people were shot there last month and police raised concerns that the crime scene had been compromised. But city leaders are struggling to come to agreement on how they should reopen it. Council President Lisa Bender declined to sign on to a letter that Mayor Jacob Frey and the two council members who represent the area hoped would show unified support for reopening 38th Street and Chicago Avenue.”

For MPR, Tim Pugmire writes: “After meeting monthly in special sessions since last spring to address COVID-19 concerns, Minnesota lawmakers started their regular session Tuesday amid ongoing concerns about the pandemic and the need to set a new two-year state budget. … Several Republican lawmakers refused to wear masks on the opening day, even as they paid tribute to a colleague who died of complications of COVID-19. At least eight senators came to the floor without face coverings, despite assurances from Capitol leaders that they’re taking safety coronavirus precautions.”

Says Josh Skluzacek for KSTP-TV, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Minnesotans are spending more time in their homes. The Minnesota Department of Health says that makes it more important than ever for homeowners to test for radon, which can have serious health risks. According to MDH, radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that naturally is found in soils across the state, but it comes with health risks. More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S., making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Five Minnesotans face riot charges for a demonstration that damaged buildings in downtown Minneapolis on New Year’s Eve. Investigators say a group of protesters spray-painted sayings like ‘Abolish Prisons’ and ‘Kill Cops’ on properties like the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on Friday. Police say the group also marched in the street and lit fireworks at passing cars. Officers arrested about 35 people.”

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