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MPD homicide chief: Kneeling on Floyd’s neck ‘totally unnecessary’

Plus: judge says lawsuit over Minnesota’s treatment of prisoners during pandemic can proceed; MN high school considers changing rebel mascot; Evers wants Trump campaign to be sanctioned for election lawsuits; and more.

For the Pioneer Press, Katrina Pross writes: “Two members of the Minneapolis Police Department testified against former officer Derek Chauvin on Friday, including one who said Chauvin’s use of extreme force against George Floyd was ‘totally unnecessary’ and ‘uncalled for.’ Lt. Richard Zimmerman, a Minneapolis police officer for nearly 40 years who leads the department’s homicide unit, said he has never been trained to kneel on a suspect’s neck while the person is handcuffed behind the back, which Chauvin did during Floyd’s fatal arrest on May 25. Zimmerman said he considers that to be ‘deadly force.’”

The Associated Press reports: “A Ramsey County judge has ruled a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota can proceed against the Minnesota Department of Corrections over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. …The lawsuit alleges that just one-fifth of Minnesota’s approximately 7,600 inmates have been fully vaccinated. Grewing will later decide whether or not the state’s inmate vaccination effort violated state law.”

In the Star Tribune, Jenna Ross and Chris Riemenschneider write: “Since allegations of sexual misconduct by [Sean] Tillmann emerged nearly three weeks ago, more women have shared stories about the internationally known performer. … Tillmann, 43, issued a statement last week apologizing for misbehavior ‘fueled by a toxic mixture of alcohol, drugs, and cavalier sexuality.’ Five women have given the Star Tribune detailed accounts of the singer groping them without their consent — sometimes at bars and sometimes at his house, where the party often continued. In two cases, he exposed himself, they said.

From the Forum News Service, C.S. Hagen writes: “The Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District is considering a change to the current Rebel mascot, a decision that comes a month after some in the community criticized the design for resembling a Confederate soldier’s uniform. … The announcement Thursday came two days after the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District Activities Department informed students in an email that the district was planning to ‘transition away from the Rebel head logo’ and was accepting submissions for new ideas.”

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For MPR, Hannah Yang writes: “A proposed wind and solar farm in southern Minnesota is vying to be the first of its kind in the state, if approved. But the project’s proximity to a cultural site that is sacred to many Native Americans has historic preservation officials and tribal leaders anxious about its impacts. The Apex Clean Energy company’s proposal would install about 55 turbines for the Big Bend wind project and solar panels on more than 480 acres of nearby land for the Red Rock solar project.”

Business Insider writes: “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has asked a court to force former President Donald Trump, his lawyers, and former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees over their presidential-election lawsuits. In court documents filed on Wednesday, attorneys for Evers called lawsuits that disputed the 2020 election results ‘meritless’ and ‘built on inscrutable conspiracy theories.’ He called for $106,000 in sanctions against Powell, and $144,000 against Trump and his attorneys, according to the documents.”