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Petition delivered for vote on removing police department from Minneapolis charter

Plus: Stillwater students walk out in support of police; Anoka SWAT team executed no-knock warrant at wrong address; U forming task force to look in to faculty abuse of grad students; and more.

Minneapolis Police Department, 1st Precinct, downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police Department, 1st Precinct, downtown Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Cops on the ballot in Minneapolis? The Star Tribune’s Susan Du and Liz Navratil report: “Political committee Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis delivered 30 bankers boxes of petitions carrying more than 20,000 signatures to the City Clerk’s Office on Friday. The petition asks voters to remove the Minneapolis Police Department from the city charter and replace it with a Department of Public Safety that functions as a ‘comprehensive public health approach to safety, including licensed peace officers if necessary.’ … The campaign submitted the petition just in time for the Charter Commission to receive it at its May 5 meeting. Afterward, staff in the City Clerk’s Office will have 10 days to review signatures and make sure Vote Yes 4 Minneapolis collected at least 11,906 from people registered to vote in Minneapolis, or 5% of votes cast in the last state general election.”

Meanwhile, in Stillwater… KSTP reports:A group of Stillwater Area High school students walked out of class Thursday morning to show support for police officers. … Students were encouraged to wear blue and bring thin blue line flags. A group of counter-protesters also showed up.”

That’s some fine police work, Lou. KARE’s  A.J. Lagoe and Steve Eckert report: “‘I was like waaaaa…’ Bianca Mathias recalls screaming just after 6 o’clock on Thursday morning, Feb. 11. … She woke up to flashlights, firearms, and strange men in her Coon Rapids townhome. … ‘Two of them had their guns up,’ she said, holding her arms in the air as if holding a rifle. … ‘I thought we were being robbed at first,’ said the hairdresser. … The home invaders smashed through the front door and proceeded to bash in bedroom doors – even breaking in on her young daughter. … In a matter of seconds, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team – which does not wear body cameras – had achieved their goal of securing the home. … The problem? Records show authorities raided the wrong address. … What’s more, a KARE 11 investigation has uncovered evidence that the correct address was easily available in public records. But Minneapolis authorities who requested the raid apparently failed to check them.”

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Grad students saying “enough.” The Minnesota Daily’s Nathanael Ashton-Piper reports: “The University of Minnesota will form a new task force to address abusive faculty after the Council of Graduate Students (COGS) created a petition to address what it calls a long-standing problem in graduate higher education. … The petition calls for the formation of a University body composed of graduate students, faculty, staff and administrators to address the ‘pedestrian, every day harassment that has characterized much of graduate education for decades, if not centuries.’ … Abusive faculty behavior can include expecting students to work unpaid hours, asking students for personal favors, leaning on students for emotional support, commenting on a student’s physical appearance and threatening or exploiting a student’s position as an advisee.

Fair chance? The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick reports: “If ‘returning to normal’” means a sweaty, crowded, sunburnt and belch-riddled 12 days leading up to Labor Day, you might be in luck. … Gov. Tim Walz on Friday said the Minnesota State Fair, which was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, ‘should be a pretty close to normal event’ in 2021. … Walz’s comments came as he prepares to announce a loosening of restrictions next week and indicated he believes the state is firmly on a downward glidepath after more than a year in the grips of the virus. He declined to provide specifics.”

In other news…

Showing up in Minneapolis:‘George Floyd worked here’: Signs honor lives killed by police” [KMSP]

You hate to see it:UC president, former MN congressman Mark Kennedy censured by campus in Colorado” [Pioneer Press]

Quite a run:Mixed Blood Theatre founder Jack Reuler to step down” [MPR]

Tragic kingdom:Disney to close store location at MOA by May 19” [KSTP]

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As it should be:USA Curling Announces Move To Eagan, MN” [WCCO]

FYI:I-94 in Brooklyn Center and Hwy 52 in the east metro closing again this weekend” [KSTP]

Big fish:Giant brown trout was just shy of Minnesota record” [West Central Tribune]

Striking a chord:Meet Jex Nwalor, Bemidji’s TikTok ukulele sensation” [Current]