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Minneapolis police increasingly fail to include race in use of force reports

Plus: Minnesota lawmaker cited for driving with suspended license; video shows driver doing burnouts while passenger fires gun into air in Uptown; Ramsey Sheriff Fletcher under criticized for “sundown” comments; and more.

CORBIS

Not seeing race. KARE’s Brandon Stahl, A.J. Lagoe and Steve Eckert report: “After George Floyd’s murder, city officials promised to reduce racial disparities in police use of force. At first glance, data taken from the city’s web site appears to show that happened. … Before George Floyd, when MPD used force, 60% of the time it was against Black people. Since then, it has dropped to about 52%. … That’s an improvement – although still a significant disparity in a city that’s only about 20% Black. … When KARE 11 took a deeper look at the numbers, however, we discovered something unusual. When police officers fill out required ‘Use of Force’ forms, they are increasingly listing race as ‘Unknown’ – or simply failing to record it.

Whoops. WCCO reports: “A Minnesota state lawmaker allegedly told a St. Paul police officer they were racially profiling him when he was stopped over the weekend and cited for driving with a suspended license. … St. Paul police records show that Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul, was pulled over early Sunday morning at the intersection of Seventh and Wacouta streets over his car not having a front license plate. … When the officer spoke with Thompson, he identified himself as a state lawmaker and presented a Wisconsin driver’s license. When the officer returned to his car, he learned that Thompson’s license was suspended in Minnesota and he issued the lawmaker a citation.”

Not good. KSTP’s Alex Jokich reports: “The Minneapolis Police Department will increase patrols in Uptown after several nights of unrest. … A 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew saw firefighters putting out fires after protesters gathered near Lake Street and Girard Avenue Wednesday night. … A video that has been widely shared on social media shows a car doing ‘burnouts’ in the middle of the street while a passenger fires a gun into the air more than 30 times. … Other videos shared with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show drag-racing, blocked streets and dumpster fires.”

How is “Live on Patrol” still a thing? The Pioneer Press’ Nick Ferraro reports:Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher is taking heat yet again over his ‘Live on Patrol’ broadcast, this time after making a comment that suspected criminals would have been told at sundown to ‘get outta town.’ … Fletcher’s critics say the comment during his broadcast Monday refers to so-called sundown towns, communities that for decades kept out Black people or other groups by warning them to leave or stay away before the sun went down.”

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New contract for grocery workers. The Star Tribune’s Nicole Norfleet reports: “The United Food and Commercial Workers said Twin Cities unionized grocery workers will have expanded benefits and protections, as well as more pay, under a new contract agreement. … UFCW Local 663 — which represents more than 13,000 frontline food and retail workers in Minnesota and Iowa, including about 6,000 Minnesota grocery employees — negotiated for two-year contracts that deliver pay increases every six months, no increases in health care costs and hazard pay that has already been paid by many grocers or will be paid in one-time bonuses, it said on Thursday. … Several grocery chains — including Kowalski’s Markets, Jerry’s Foods and Lunds & Byerlys — have agreed to the contract.”

In other news…

Next week in St. Paul:Autism Society of Minnesota to offer first-of-its-kind sensory-friendly COVID-19 vaccine clinic” [KARE]

St. Jude’s sins:St. Jude Medical to pay $27 million in Justice Dept. settlement on heart devices” [Star Tribune]

Herd mentality:After years of study, Fond du Lac Band proposes reintroducing elk to northeastern Minnesota” [Star Tribune]

Breeding like rabbits:Abandoned Rabbits, Adopted During Pandemic, Multiplying In Some Minnesota Communities” [WCCO]

What a bunch of carp:This is what can happen when you release your goldfish into the wild” [KARE]

We’re pumped:20 things to know about the new kaleidoscopic exhibit of Prince’s shoes at Paisley Park” [Star Tribune]