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Feds to seek indictments of Chauvin, three other ex-officers involved in Floyd killing

Plus: Minnesota Senate passes tax bill; St. Paul council seeks legal review of mayor’s veto authority; South Dakota Supreme Court hears arguments over attempt to strike down state’s constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana; and more. 

Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane
Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane
Minnesota Department of Corrections and Hennepin County Jail

In the Star Tribune, Andy Mannix reports, “Leading up to Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Justice Department officials had spent months gathering evidence to indict the ex-Minneapolis police officer on federal police brutality charges, but they feared the publicity frenzy could disrupt the state’s case. … Now, with Chauvin’s state trial out of the way, federal prosecutors are moving forward with their case. They plan to ask a grand jury to indict Chauvin and the other three ex-officers involved in George Floyd’s killing — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — on charges of civil rights violations, a source said.”

Josh Verges writes for the Pioneer Press: “Minnesota officials have agreed to create a metro-wide student busing program, establish four new magnet schools and order racially-isolated charter and district schools to integrate. The plans, which emerged from settlement talks in the ongoing school desegregation lawsuit Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota, were introduced Tuesday in the House Education Finance Committee. It’ll be up to the Legislature to approve the plan, which is estimated to cost $63 million a year.”

KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser reports: “The biennial battle over the budget at the Minnesota State Capitol will heat up over the next 19 days as lawmakers try to beat the clock by the May 17 session deadline. ‘We’re not raising taxes at the end of a pandemic on anyone,’ Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said at the end of a nearly five-hour debate over the tax bill. The bill includes no new taxes but does include partial tax exemptions for pandemic unemployment payments and full tax exemptions for businesses that received Paycheck Protection Plan loans. The exemption is available with no cap on the amount of the loan received.”

For the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “Mayor Melvin Carter’s decision to veto a recent St. Paul City Council decision and open the door to a $57 million, six-story apartment complex on Lexington Parkway may get a second look from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office. Following a lengthy discussion, the council voted 5-2 on Wednesday to approve a last-minute request by Council Member Dai Thao and seek a legal review of the mayor’s veto authority from the attorney general’s office.”

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The Star Tribune’s Liz Sawyer reports, “A Brainerd man has been sentenced to four years in prison and must pay $12 million in restitution for his role in the lighting the Minneapolis Third Precinct police headquarters on fire during civil unrest after the death of George Floyd. Last May, Dylan Shakespeare Robinson, 23, trampled over a fence meant to keep protesters out and lit a Molotov cocktail, which another person threw toward the precinct — shortly after the crowd began shouting ‘Burn it down, burn it down’, according to federal charges.”

For the Forum New Service, April Baumgarten writes: “Almost two months after Minnesota toughened its deadly force law, Cass County, N.D., Sheriff Jesse Jahner has asked the state to amend the statute so North Dakota law enforcement can operate in Minnesota under North Dakota law. … Instead of forcing Cass County deputies to adopt two sets of laws, Jahner asked that Minnesota allow his and other agencies in North Dakota to follow North Dakota Century Code.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Personal data, including license plate numbers, email addresses and phone numbers, were accessed during a cybersecurity incident involving the MPLS Parking app last month, the app’s developer said. In a notification to users, ParkMobile said no credit card information was accessed during the incident in March. ParkMobile said a ‘vulnerability in a third-party software’ which was to blame for the hack has been eliminated.”

Also from the Forum News Service: “Deputy Otter Tail County Administrator Nick Leonard said he’s fielded several phone calls from residents asking why Otter Tail County is hosting the 2021 Governor’s Fishing Opener May 13-15. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Otter Tail County went solidly for the Republican candidate, and Gov. Tim Walz is a Democrat. Walz has been criticized in parts of the county for his pandemic-related mandates. Leonard told Otter Tail County commissioners on Tuesday, April 27, that the annual fishing opener is an economic event, not a political one.”

The AP reports: “The South Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday heard final arguments in a legal battle sparked by an attempt by Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration to strike down a voter-passed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana. … Voters passed the measure  — known as Amendment A — in November, but Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller mounted a legal challenge to its constitutionality on [Gov. Kristi] Noem’s behalf. …The issue of legalizing marijuana has created significant divisions among  South Dakota Republicans. Some reason they have a duty to honor the will of the voters, but Noem insists legalizing marijuana is a ‘bad decision.’”