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Officials announce plans to scale down law enforcement presence in Twin Cities

Plus: wake for Daunte Wright held in Minneapolis; activists want widened scope for DOJ probe of MPD; Wisconsin renegotiates deal with Foxconn; and more.

Members of the National Guard are seen at the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday.
Members of the National Guard are seen at the Hennepin County Government Center on Tuesday.
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

For the Forum News Service, Dana Ferguson writes: “Minnesota State Patrol and National Guard leaders on Wednesday said that troopers and soldiers will return home later this week following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and a peaceful night of celebrations around the Twin Cities. … Ahead of Chauvin’s trial, state and local law enforcement agencies readied thousands of officers and National Guard soldiers and airmen to intervene in the event of rioting or looting in the Twin Cities. … ‘Operation Safety Net’ resources were also deployed after the April 11 police killing of Daunte Wright sparked more limited civil unrest in Brooklyn Center and led to a security cordon around the city’s police headquarters. … Chauvin’s guilty verdict sparked celebrations Tuesday evening, and law enforcement officials who oversaw Operation Safety Net said they were preparing to scale down police presence in the area.”

In the Star Tribune, Rochelle Olson writes: “With Derek Chauvin convicted and locked up awaiting sentencing, the three former Minneapolis police officers accused of helping him murder George Floyd await their own judicial reckonings with an August trial looming. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death outside Cup Foods last May 25. They are scheduled for trial Aug. 23. Initially, the four former cops were set to be tried together, but Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ordered Chauvin tried first. … No one expects the state to dismiss the cases against the three, but criminal defense attorney Mike Brandt said the state ‘may make the calculus: Do we want to go through this all again or do we want to make a deal?’”

John Eligon and  New York Times: “Police chiefs and unions across the country condemned Mr. Chauvin’s actions and applauded the jury’s verdict, but not always with the same zeal or for the same reasons. Some said they hoped it would restore faith in the criminal justice system. Others said it would help keep the peace. And still others indicated that it would clear the way for ‘honest discussion’ about policing. The feelings of rank-and-file officers were more complicated: a mix of relief, resentment at being vilified alongside Mr. Chauvin and unsettling thoughts of themselves in his shoes.”

Kim Hyatt writes in the Star Tribune: “On Katie and Aubrey Wright’s wedding anniversary, they received hugs and flowers, but not in celebration of their marriage. They gathered with loved ones at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis for the wake of their 20-year-old son, Daunte Demetrius Wright, who was shot and killed by a former Brooklyn Center police officer April 11. ‘For them to have to spend this evening under these circumstances, we got to give them a wedding gift: justice,” said civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton. At the wake, a slide show of images showed Wright in his youth, holding a basketball trophy and wearing an Air Jordan headband with a gold medal hanging from his neck.… Wright’s funeral is scheduled for noon Thursday at Shiloh Temple.”

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At KARE-TV, Emily Haavik and Alexa Mencia write, “Community leaders are calling on Justice Department officials to expand an investigation into Minneapolis’ policing practices beyond the city following former officer Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd. … The Justice Department is already looking into whether Chauvin and the other former Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s death violated his civil rights. But the investigation announced Wednesday will examine whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing within the department. CAIR-MN joined members of the Minnesota Justice Coalition, Black Lives Matter, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and other groups in demanding more attention to issues within the policing system across Minnesota.”

For the BBC, Jessica Lussenhop writes, “This process happened after high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as in Chicago and Baltimore. At the end of its investigation, the Department of Justice (DoJ) issues a report that often contains details that the public would otherwise have no access to. … The city of Minneapolis could face real, legal consequences if benchmarks laid out in the agreement are not met. However, the process can be slow, bureaucratic and largely invisible to the community, and sometimes departments operate under federal monitoring for years. And past experiences show that these agreements do not lead to an end to controversial incidents.”

For Ars Technica Timothy Lee writes, “The state of Wisconsin has negotiated a dramatically scaled-back deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn. The move, announced Tuesday by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, is a repudiation of a deal negotiated four years earlier by Evers’ Republican predecessor Scott Walker. … The new deal acknowledges that Foxconn’s presence in Wisconsin will be much smaller. The agreement asks Foxconn to spend only $672 million on a factory that will employ only 1,454 people by 2025. And the state will only offer Foxconn $80 million in incentives—a thirtyfold reduction from the original incentive package.

For Business Insider Grace Dean reports, “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell isn’t happy that Fox News hasn’t written about his firm’s lawsuit against voting-machine company Dominion. During a livestream for the launch of his new social-media site, Frank, Lindell urged the network to invite him on the air so he could speak about his lawsuit. MyPillow sued Dominion for $1.6 billion on Monday, accusing it of trying to stifle free speech. The suit also repeated debunked conspiracy theories that Dominion facilitated voter fraud.”