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Journalism scholar: Give Darnella Frazier a Pulitzer

Plus: Tina Smith on mental health; fight over inclusive community resolution in Wausau; Willmar suspends plan to use public housing complex as police-dog training site; and more.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin watching a screen showing video of the scene outside Cup Foods during Chauvin's trial.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin watching a screen showing video of the scene outside Cup Foods during Chauvin's trial.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

An idea worth considering. At Nieman Lab, Roy Peter Clark writes: “On May 25, 2020, a 17-year-old named Darnella Frazier stood on the sidewalk as police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes. She stood there pointing her cell phone at a murder in progress, capturing video that spurred massive protests and resulted in Chauvin’s conviction on three counts. … Frazier, now 18, testified at the trial. She’s been showered with praise from President Biden and from celebrities and filmmakers, such as Michael Moore, Spike Jones, Meryl Streep, Anita Hill, and Sen. Cory Booker. ‘No film in our time has been more important than yours,’ Moore tweeted. Ann Marie Lipinski, the curator of the Nieman Foundation, called the video ‘one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation.’ … Such appreciation has led to the question of whether the video should be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. I believe that it should. Whether it will be so honored will depend upon the judgment of the members of the Pulitzer Prize Board.”

Sen. Tina Smith on mental health. KARE’s Brian Piatt reports: “We’ve known her as the Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota and now as a U.S. Senator. … Now she’s sharing a more personal side. … ‘Those things that did give you joy, they don’t anymore,’ Smith says. ‘It’s like the engine has stopped running.’ … Smith says her struggles with depression first started when she was in college when, what felt like a rough patch, wasn’t coming to an end. … This isn’t the first time Smith has talked publicly about her mental health. In fact, she shared her experience with depression on the Senate floor back in 2019. … These days she says she pays close attention to her mental health and carries with her the lessons of what has helped her in the past.”

Say, how are things over in Wausau? The New York Times’s Reid J. Epstein reports from Wisconsin: “A standing-room-only crowd packed a drab courthouse meeting room one recent night and tried to resolve a thorny, yearlong debate over whether Marathon County should declare itself ‘a community for all.’ …The lone Black member of the county board, Supervisor William Harris, stood up and begged his colleagues who opposed the resolution to change their minds. … ‘I want to feel like I’m a part of this community,’’ he said. ‘That’s what a lot of our residents are saying. We want to contribute to our community. We want to feel like a part of this community.’ … … ‘They’re creating strife between people labeling us as racist and privileged because we’re white,’ Supervisor Arnold Schlei, a 73-year-old retired veal farmer who has been on the county board for 11 years, said in an interview. ‘You can’t come around and tell people that work their tails off from daylight to dark and tell them that they got white privilege and they’re racist and they’ve got to treat the Hmongs and the coloreds and the gays better because they’re racist. People are sick of it.’”

Meanwhile, in Willmar… The Star Tribune’s John Reinan reports: “The notices went up last week at Lakeview Apartments, a public-housing project with more than 150 apartments near downtown in this Kandiyohi County city. … Police would be using the complex as a training ground for their dogs, the posted fliers read, and they might enter the building without warning ‘at any hour during days, evenings or weekends.’ … After a civil rights group protested that the training would ‘forcefully convert the homes and living spaces of all Lakeview residents into a de facto police state,’ the city has suspended the program while it looks into it further.”

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Sinead O’Connor on Prince. In a New York Times profile by Amanda Hess: “Later, when ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ made her a star, O’Connor said the song’s writer, Prince, terrorized her. She had pledged to reveal the details ‘when I’m an old lady and I write my book,’ and now she has: She writes that Prince summoned her to his macabre Hollywood mansion, chastised her for swearing in interviews, harangued his butler to serve her soup though she repeatedly refused it, and sweetly suggested a pillow fight, only to thump her with something hard he’d slipped into his pillowcase. When she escaped on foot in the middle of the night, she writes, he stalked her with his car, leapt out and chased her around the highway. … Prince is the type of artist who is hailed as crazy-in-a-good-way, as in, ‘You’ve got to be crazy to be a musician,’ O’Connor said, ‘but there’s a difference between being crazy and being a violent abuser of women.’ Still, the fact that her best-known song was written by this person does not faze her at all. ‘As far as I’m concerned,’ she said, ‘it’s my song.’”

In more lighthearted Prince news:Prince’s Epic Shoes Get an Exhibit of Their Own” [Vogue]

In other news…

Laying down the law:COVID vaccinations required for students, faculty on Mitchell Hamline School of Law campus” [BringMeTheNews]

Nice:Century-old birchbark scroll returns to Minnesota’s Ojibwe tribe due to advocate work by St. Paul businessmen” [Pioneer Press]

Local regulations still apply:Best Buy, Hy-Vee No Longer Requiring Masks For Fully Vaccinated Customers, Employees” [WCCO]

Congrats:Denver hires Vikings official Kelly Kleine; she’ll be highest ranking female NFL team executive” [Star Tribune]

Sometimes it snows in … May:Never too soon to prepare for winter, Duluth installs snow emergency signs” [Duluth News Tribune]