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Lawmakers question Minnesota State Patrol’s ‘purge’ of emails and text messages

Plus: group attempts to storm a State Fair gate; Hennepin County Sheriff makes it harder for federal officials to detain inmates for immigration issues; writer and American Indian community leader Jay Thomas Bad Heart Bull dies; and more.

Counter protesters confront Minnesota State Patrol officers during a "United We Stand" rally in St. Paul on September 12, 2020.
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

At KSTP-TV Ryan Raiche says, “The admission made in court that Minnesota State Patrol troopers engaged in a massive ‘purge’ of text messages and emails after protests last summer has raised questions among lawmakers and advocates for transparency. … Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul), who chairs the public safety committee, tweeted Monday ‘lots of questions for the State Patrol.’ Mariani’s fellow committee member, Rep. Cedrick Frazier (DFL-New Hope) also said Monday that ‘at best this is very poor decision making considering the timing. At worst, it is the continuation of the type of behavior that breeds distrust.’ The purge of communication means troopers may have destroyed potential evidence that could be used against the agency in multiple pending lawsuits regarding its use of force on protesters and journalists following George Floyd’s murder. The state patrol supervisor defended the self-described ‘purge’ as ‘standard practice.’”

Deanna Weniger writes in the Pioneer Press: “A large group attempted to storm a MN State Fair gate Monday night, delaying those trying to leave and forcing police action to disperse the crowd. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s office reported that shortly after 8 p.m., the group, including a man with a gun, tried to force their way into the Fair through the gate at Snelling Avenue and Midway Parkway. Fair security and sheriff deputies responded to push them back. When they would not obey orders to leave, the deputies used a handheld chemical agent, similar to mace, to disperse the crowd.”

WCCO-TV reports: “The Minneapolis Fire Department says two children are in critical condition after being rescued from Lake Nokomis Monday afternoon. Crews were called to the lake at about 3:15 p.m. on a report of a water emergency, and arrived to find two boys — ages 8 and 11 — who had almost drowned. MFD says the older boy was being given CPR by a bystander, while the younger boy was in the midst of being rescued by others. When firefighters took over resuscitation efforts, both boys didn’t have a pulse and weren’t breathing.”

KSTP-TV’s Josh Skluzacek reports: “Police in Edina are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing 2-year-old girl as authorities continue to search for her. According to Edina Police, the girl — Iklas Abdullahi Ahmed — was last seen in the area of Rosland Park, which is in the 4300 block of West 66th Street, at about 5 p.m. It’s believed that she wandered away from family on her own.”

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David Channen writes in the Star Tribune: “Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson is making it harder for federal officials to detain inmates for immigration issues in a move he hopes will make new residents from other countries more comfortable reporting crime. The most recent change came in June when the sheriff issued a directive to greatly limit the use of immigration detainer warrants to hold people in jail who should otherwise be released. … The sheriff also removed the ICE office at the jail and has stopped alerting the agency when undocumented people will be released.”

For WCCO-TV Reg Chapman reports, “Before school even starts, respiratory viruses are spreading among kids. Just last month, more than 1,000 patients tested positive for infections that are not COVID-19. Hospital staff across the Twin Cities are stretched, treating an increasing number of children with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, says Dr. Stacene Maroushek of Hennepin Healthcare. ‘Since 2017, we have been seeing a newer strain of RSV that’s been circulating in the Upper Midwest that is perhaps a little bit more vigilant or a little bit more nasty’, Maroushek said. Traditionally, RSV infects kids ages zero to 5, but this latest strain is infecting older kids during summer months — and that’s unusual for this predominantly winter virus.”

At BringMeTheNews Declan Desmond reports, “Less than a month after her ouster as head of the Minnesota Republican Party, Jennifer Carnahan is vowing a return to the political arena.  Carnahan, who resigned as party chair last month due to the Anton Lazarro scandal, released a statement on Facebook Sunday addressing her future: She says she’s received an ‘outpouring of support’ following her fall as MN GOP chair, proclaiming that ‘the very small group in our party intent on getting me out failed yet again’. … she’s received ‘thousands of calls for action to take my leadership in Minnesota to the next level’ — including ‘running again for Chair (of MN GOP) on October 2nd to running for Governor and other ideas in between’, Carnahan writes.”

The Star Tribune’s Susan Du says, “Jay Thomas Bad Heart Bull was a writer and leader in the American Indian community in Minneapolis, devoting much of his life to helping young people and serving his people through his work with the Division of Indian Work, Little Earth of United Tribes and the Native American Community Development Institute. … Over the past few years, Bad Heart Bull reprioritized his life around caring for his ailing father and young son, Quill, while his wife Carly (Beane) Bad Heart Bull, worked for the Bush Foundation and later the Native Ways Federation. He’d planned to return to work once Quill began preschool, but died unexpectedly on Aug. 9. He was 42.