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Target’s funding of neighborhood surveillance systems under scrutiny

Plus: Rep. Ilhan Omar asks President Joe Biden to pardon Daniel Hale; Minneapolis City Council powerless in restricting MPD’s use of rubber bullets; St. Paul library hours restored in 2022; Mac divests of all oil, gas investments; and more.

Target, downtown Minneapolis
Target, downtown Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Bullseye in the sky. Bloomberg’s Peter Waldman and Lauren Etter report: “For decades, Target fostered partnerships with law enforcement unlike those of any other U.S. corporation. It became one of the most influential corporate donors to law enforcement agencies and police foundations, supplying money for cutting-edge technology and equipment. When it developed a network of forensics labs, it made them available to police across the U.S. Starting in the early 2000s, Target developed a program, called Safe City, that poured money into police and sheriff’s departments to install neighborhood surveillance systems and fund equipment. In Minneapolis, Target worked with the City Attorney’s Office to have petty criminals banished from the downtown business district through what are called geographic restriction orders. Eight out of 10 people expelled were Black or American Indian, according to an analysis of city data. In an article last summer, Aren Aizura, a professor who teaches courses on race and gender at the University of Minnesota, wrote that Target’s deep ties to the police made the company ‘an appropriate outlet for rage.’”

Pardon plea. The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux reports: “Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is calling on President Joe Biden to pardon Daniel Hale, a former Air Force intelligence analyst who leaked top secret documents revealing the inner workings and civilian consequences of the U.S. military’s drone program. Hale was sentenced to nearly four years in prison last month. In a letter sent to the White House on Thursday, Omar said the information Hale revealed, ‘while politically embarrassing to some, has shone a vital light on the legal and moral problems of the drone program and informed the public debate on an issue that has for too many years remained in the shadows.’”

Maybe have a chat with Target about it. KSTP’s Ryan Raiche reports:The Minneapolis City Council doesn’t have the authority to ban the police department from using less-lethal weapons, according to a newly released legal memo. The council had moved earlier this year to limit the use of rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray after seeing the extent of injuries that protestors suffered during last summer’s unrest. But a memo from the city attorney’s office that was made public last week made it clear that under the city’s structure, any action restricting the use of less-lethal weapons would ‘exceed the powers of the city council.’”

Guilty. The Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports:A southern Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to a federal weapons violation after being accused of bragging about his illegal shotgun and plans to kill a law enforcement officer at a rally in support of former President Donald Trump at the Minnesota Capitol in January. Dayton C. Sauke, 22, of Owatonna, on Wednesday admitted in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to illegal possession of an unregistered firearm following his arrest after he allegedly sold an illegal firearm to two undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Many of Sauke’s social media posts reflected antigovernment sentiments similar to the Boogaloo Bois, according to court records.”

Lyn-Lake shooting. KSTP’s Rebecca Omastiak reports: “Seven people were hurt in a shooting in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis just after midnight Thursday. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, the shooting happened in the area of West Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue South at about 12:20 a.m. When officers arrived, they found three people who were suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Police also learned three other people had already been transported to Hennepin Healthcare and another to North Memorial Medical Center with injuries believed to have been caused by the shooting.”

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In other news…

Waiting until October: “Minnesota GOP pushes back election of new leader” [KMSP]

Lower yield: “Bean field collapses and falls 25 feet in rural Polk County” [Fargo Forum]

Going green: “Macalester College divests of all oil, gas investments that includes Enbridge” [KSTP]

Soccer wall: “New Mural Near Allianz Field Honors Megan Rapinoe” [WCCO]

Many happy returns: “After a withering year, staff and hours to be restored to St. Paul’s libraries in 2022” [Pioneer Press]

Shots bucked: “Hunting theme no longer mandatory in US duck stamp contest” [Star Tribune]