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Federal judge: lawsuit alleging excessive force by MPD against protesters can move forward

Plus: half of Chauvin jury selected; Floyd family plans to donate $500,000 of Minneapolis settlement to businesses at 38th and Chicago Ave.; South Dakota Attorney General pleads not guilty; and more.

Alex Chhith writes in the Star Tribune: “A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit alleging that Minneapolis police used excessive force on protesters in the days after George Floyd’s death can move forward in court. U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson denied motions by the city of Minneapolis and Lt. Bob Kroll, former Minneapolis police union president, to dismiss the suit. … The court found that the case ‘plausibly alleges that an unofficial custom regarding the use of unconstitutional force against peaceful protesters existed at the time of the George Floyd protests, and that the custom was either tacitly authorized by municipal policymakers or policymakers were deliberately indifferent to it,’ according to the ruling.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong and Paul Walsh report: “Half of the jury that will hear testimony in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was selected by the end of Friday after rounds of questioning that focused on the case’s publicity and opinions on racial bias and police reform. A seventh and lone juror was seated Friday, joining a jury that consists of one multiracial woman in her 20s, one Black man in his 30s who immigrated to the United States, one Hispanic man in his 20s, one white woman in her 50s, a white man in his 20s and two white men in their 30s.”

WCCO-TV’s Marielle Mohs reports: “Friday evening, the siblings and nephew of George Floyd went to 38th and Chicago and touched the space on the street where Floyd died last May. They came to this intersection-turned-landmark, after learning the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay the Floyd family $27 million. … Of the $27 million going to the Floyd family, the family is donating $500,000 back into the neighborhood and businesses at 38th and Chicago Ave. On Friday, the Floyd family met with the business owners and employees who will be benefitting from their donation.”

Also from the AP: “Twin Cities commercial real estate managers are fearful Target Corp.’s decision to partly leave its downtown Minneapolis location will become a trend that will continue to diminish office space needs. Target informed the City Center’s manager Thursday that it will no longer need the 985,000 square feet of office space it rents in the 51-story tower because it is permanently moving to a hybrid remote work model for 3,500 employees.”

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From the Associated Press: “South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg pleaded not guilty in an initial court hearing Friday for three misdemeanor charges he is facing for striking and killing a man with his car last summer. The Republican attorney general did not appear at the courthouse in Pierre, South Dakota, but his lawyer Tim Rensch made the plea on his behalf. … Besides the misdemeanor charges, the state’s top law enforcement officer is facing calls for his resignation from Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and law enforcement groups.”

In the Star Tribune, James Lileks writes: “If you’ve visited Crystal Court recently, you’ll have noticed that the main floor is being overhauled — for the first time since 1998. According to Accesso, the tower’s owner, the benches will be replaced by ‘modular boulder seating,’ and existing trees will be replaced by trees expected to grow much taller than the old ones — 24 feet, if all goes well. The fountain, installed in the late ’90s, will be updated, too. … Its replacement will be an infinity-edge pool. Less kinetic, more restful. Whether that’s a metaphor for post-pandemic downtown, we’ll see. The $5 million update, which is being branded as ‘cosmetic,’ is expected to be completed by July.”