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Former Minneapolis cops plead not guilty in federal civil rights case stemming from killing of George Floyd

Plus: crime down in downtown St. Paul; Minneapolis cops adopted hands-off approach to policing after death of George Floyd; Al Franken keeping options open for future political run; and more.

Not unexpected. The AP’s Amy Forliti reports (via WDIO):Four former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against them. … A federal grand jury indicted Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao in May for allegedly depriving Floyd of his rights while acting under government authority. … Tuesday’s hearing is being held remotely via videoconference. Chauvin appeared from a state prison, where he is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence for murder.”

Crime down in downtown St. Paul? WCCO’s David Schuman reports: “This summer’s crime rate in downtown St. Paul was the lowest in at least five years. … ‘We were 23% below last year’s crime rates and we’re 10% below the five-year average,’ said Joe Spencer, the president of the St. Paul Downtown Alliance. … The alliance looked at overall crime statistics during the months of June, July and August dating back to 2017.”

Also in crime… For Reuters, Brad Heath writes: “Policing in Minneapolis changed dramatically in the year since a white police officer murdered George Floyd. … In the months that followed, few cities wrestled more with the question of what the future of American law enforcement should be than Minneapolis. Officials here floated attempts to overhaul, shrink or even abolish the city’s besieged police force – so far with no success. … In the interim, an examination by Reuters found, Minneapolis’ police officers imposed abrupt changes of their own, adopting what amounts to a hands-off approach to everyday lawbreaking in a city where killings have surged to a level not seen in decades.

We’re just going to put this here. The Hill’s Celine Castronuovo reports:Former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who resigned in 2017 amid accusations of sexual misconduct, said he is ‘keeping my options open’ on whether to run for public office again. … In an interview published Monday by Massachusetts-based newspaper The Republican, Franken said he has his own political action committee and noted that there have now been at least nine former colleagues who have issued public apologies for their lack of support for him when the allegations first came to light. ‘Well, I wanted due process, but I had 36 colleagues and a majority leader who wouldn’t give it to me, so it was impossible,’ he said, though he added he does ‘have some regrets.’”

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