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With Chauvin conviction, focus shifts to trial of three other ex-Minneapolis officers

Plus: three in four Americans think jury reached the right verdict in Chauvin case; authorities investigating hate messages found on Moorhead mosque; Twin Cities dog groomers overwhelmed; and more.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listening to Judge Peter A. Cahill read the three guilty verdicts on Tuesday afternoon.
Screen shot

The Associated Press reports: “With Derek Chauvin convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, activists and the Floyd family are turning their attention to this summer’s trial for the other three officers involved in his May 2020 arrest. All three have already sought to deflect responsibility to Chauvin, by far the most senior officer on the scene. Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao face trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ordered that they be tried together, but separately from Chauvin, to reduce the number of people in the courtroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the three weigh their strategies, legal experts say they are sure to be watching what kind of prison time Chauvin gets at his June 16 sentencing. Minnesota law sets the same penalties for aiding and abetting murder or manslaughter as for the act itself.”

Jennifer De Pinto writes for CBS News: “Three in four Americans think the jury reached the right verdict in which former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, a majority view that spans across all racial, age and partisan groups. Most White and Black Americans share the view that the jury reached the right verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer found guilty on all three counts in the death of George Floyd. Americans — both young and old — within these racial groups agree with the verdict.”

Related. Writes Dominick Mastrangelo for The Hill: Nearly half of all Republicans questioned in a new poll said that they believe former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was wrongly convicted of murdering George Floyd. A total of 46 percent of respondents to the CBS News-YouGov poll who identified as Republican said the Hennepin County jury reached the ‘wrong verdict.’ Only 10 percent of Democrats said the same thing.”

An AP story says, “Police and federal authorities are investigating hate messages that were found spray-painted early Sunday on the outside of a mosque in Moorhead, Minn. Officers were dispatched to the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Community Center at about 5:20 a.m. Sunday. Police said the graffiti was found in several areas on and around the building. Video surveillance from the building captured images of a suspect wearing a camouflage jacket and dark ski mask. The two cities are ‘sharing overwhelming support’ for the Islamic congregation, officials said in a release.”

The Star Tribune’s Joe Carlson reports, “A St. Louis Park nursing home has paid the state’s largest fine for a COVID-related workplace safety violation following the death of a beloved caregiver last May. Sholom Community Alliance paid $27,100 in fines after David Kolleh, a manager in the facility’s memory care unit, died from the coronavirus as it spread in the home, newly released inspection files from the state Labor Department show. The nursing home’s penalty included a $25,000 citation for failing to deploy an adequate respiratory program for workers, a sum nearly four times the maximum $7,000 penalty per serious violation. Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) inspectors determined the facility’s failure ‘caused or contributed to’ Kolleh’s death.”

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Deanna Weniger writes for the Pioneer Press: “Ramsey County is about to become flush with cash, and the board members are making plans to spend it. The county stands to receive just under $108 million from The American Rescue Plan Act, President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill designed to provide relief to a country battered by COVID-19 and subsequent government restrictions. Board members are poised to funnel support toward their top priority: providing affordable housing to Ramsey County residents.”

In the Star Tribune, Tim Harlow writes: “Motorists in downtown Minneapolis have been dealing with construction on Interstates 94 and 35W for the past three years. Now, drivers in St. Paul get to feel their pain. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be working on I-94 between Western Avenue and Mounds Boulevard and on I-35E between I-94 and University Avenue for the next two summers. … Drivers will feel the squeeze when MnDOT reduces the freeways to two lanes in each direction as crews repair deteriorating pavement and resurface the road.”

In the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo writes: “A coalition of neighborhood and housing advocacy groups are collecting signatures to get a city charter amendment on the November ballot. Their goal? Rent control. The HENS coalition — short for Housing Equity Now St. Paul — need at least 5,000 signatures by July 1 in order to put a ‘rent stabilization’ ballot question to voters. Their goal is to cap annual rent increases at 3 percent. … Critics have expressed concern that the end effect would simply decrease housing supply by disincentivizing private production. In other words, no one builds more housing when they can’t make money off of it.”

FOX 9’s Courtney Godfried reports: “Twin Cities dog owners having a hard time getting their dogs groomed are not alone as one local company is struggling to find enough groomers to keep up with appointments. … Groomers everywhere are saying the demand is more than they can handle. ‘In 10 years of owning the dog washes, we’ve never stopped accepting new customers, and we just stopped accepting new customers,’ said Keith Miller, of Bubbly Paws. … Miller thinks the increased demand is due to all the people who bought dogs during the pandemic. While Isaac, a professional groomer, thinks the demand is due to all the people who put off grooming during the shutdown.”