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BCA won’t release names of sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed Winston Smith in Minneapolis

Plus: 247 Line 3 protesters arrested in northern Minnesota; head of St. Cloud law firm accused of targeting pro-Trump employees for firing; Wisconsin Legislature votes to eliminate a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit; and more.

Winston Smith
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Winston Smith
Matt Sepic and Nina Moini report for MPR: “The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said Wednesday that it is not releasing the names of the sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed a man last Thursday because the officers were working undercover. Deputies working on the U.S. Marshals Service’s North Star Fugitive Task Force killed 32-year-old Winston Smith in an Uptown Minneapolis parking ramp while trying to arrest him on a firearms warrant. … The BCA said it’s prohibited from releasing the officers’ identities because they were ‘working in an undercover capacity’ and cited Minnesota law.”

The Forum News Service’s Hannah Shirley writes: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating the actions taken by a CBP helicopter deployed from Grand Forks to a Line 3 protest in Park Rapids, Minn., on Monday after the low-flying aircraft rotor washed protesters with dust and debris. Official statements say the helicopter responded to a request for assistance from local law enforcement to address the protest, and that the helicopter team promptly left the area after realizing their low-flying maneuvers were kicking up dust and debris near protesters, but video taken by an MPR News reporter at the incident appears to show the helicopter performing the low-flying maneuver multiple times for extended periods of time, and appears to show one passenger in the helicopter filming the proceedings.”

Dan Gunderson and Kirsti Marohn of MPR report: “Hundreds of people blocked access to an Enbridge pipeline pumping station being built a few miles south of Itasca State Park during a day of protests Monday. … A total of 247 people were arrested, according to a release from the Northern Lights Task Force, a coalition of northern Minnesota law enforcement agencies created to address pipeline-related protests. The task force said 179 people were arrested and booked into area detention centers. An additional 68 people were cited and released.”

In the Star Tribune, John Reinan writes: “A St. Cloud law firm is in turmoil after a round of firings that began with its leader going after employees he believed were supporters of former President Donald Trump, according to a lawsuit filed in Stearns County District Court. In the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, when Trump supporters violently stormed the building to prevent congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election as president, the suit alleges that Wesley Scott sought to fire employees he believed had made pro-Trump posts on social media. Scott, president of the Kain & Scott law firm, terminated two employees — and then fired three of his law partners after they told him his actions were violating Minnesota law, according to the legal complaint. The partners whom Scott fired — William Kain, Margaret Henehan and Kelsey Quarberg — are suing for wrongful termination from the St. Cloud-based law firm that specializes in bankruptcy cases.”

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Also from MPR, Paul Huttner writes: “Another day. Another 90. Wednesday marks the seventh day in a row of 90-degree heat in the Twin Cities and most of southern, central and western Minnesota. That’s the longest streak of 90-degree days on record before June 15 in the Twin Cities. …  So our record-setting heat wave is burrowing deeper into the record books with each passing day. We’re likely to tie the third longest 90-degree streak ever recorded in the Twin Cities by Friday. The record is 14 days set in the oppressive summer of 1936.”

For KMSP-TV Theo Keith says, “Minneapolis Police say enhanced security during the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin this spring cost the city $2.9 million in overtime. Agency officials made the disclosure to Minneapolis City Council as MPD requests $5 million to cover rising overtime costs in 2021. The proposal will be in front of the council’s Public Safety committee on Thursday.”

Scott Bauer and Todd Richmond report for the AP: “The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature voted Wednesday to eliminate a $300-a-week federal bonus for unemployed people, a measure that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has made clear he’s likely to veto. The federal payment, approved to help the unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to end on Sept. 6. Twenty-five other states have already approved ending it early, saying it has exacerbated worker shortage problems. That’s the argument that Republicans, state and local chambers of commerce, trade groups and others made for for passing the bill in Wisconsin. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos insisted Wednesday that the $300 payment is keeping people at home.”

This from WCCO-TV: “Last month’s ‘super flower blood moon’ lunar eclipse was hardly the only exciting celestial event of the season. Thursday morning will bring an even bigger spectacle — a rare “ring of fire” solar eclipse. On June 10, skywatchers in parts across the world will be able to view the eclipse. Though, as always, some places will be more ideal than others, and some will miss out entirely. … In Minnesota, WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that Minnesota is not likely to really see any effects from the event, since the maximum eclipse will be happening before sunrise here.

For The Daily Beast Andrew Boryga says: “Convicted murderer Derek Chauvin is nowhere in sight, and yet he’s still making chaos in a tiny town in Florida. The disgraced Minneapolis cop who murdered George Floyd on camera owns a vacation spot in the town of Windermere, Florida, population approximately 3,000. But even as he flails in last-ditch attempts to soften his sentence, this community has become consumed with drama over BLM protests, the First Amendment, and residents officials say are thirsty for quiet. On Tuesday, the Orange County commission debated an ordinance proposed by Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Mayor Jerry Demings that would prohibit an ‘assembly’ of one or more people from protesting within a 150-foot radius of anyone’s home … one neighbor who has lived in the area of Chauvin’s home for the past seven years told The Daily Beast that those concerns seemed a little overblown—and certainly not enough to justify what he believes would be an infringement on constitutional rights if the ordinance were to pass.”