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Poll finds support in Minneapolis for public safety amendment, opposition to reducing size of police force

Plus: seven suspected overdoses in St. Paul over 24-hour period; Minnesota sees wave of early retirements among police chiefs; South Dakota legislators consider petition for special session on impeaching state’s attorney general; and more.

In the Star Tribune, Kelly Smith writes: “A clear majority of Minneapolis voters oppose reducing the size of the city’s police force, and that feeling is especially strong among Black voters, a new Minnesota Poll has found. At the same time, voters are showing support for replacing the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) with a new agency. Most city residents, white and Black, have an unfavorable view of the department. The poll, conducted Sept. 9-13, was sponsored by the Star Tribune, MPR News, KARE 11 and FRONTLINE.”

KSTP-TV reports: “There have been seven suspected overdoses — including two that turned fatal — in Saint Paul over a 24-hour period on Friday and Saturday, according to police. As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the Saint Paul Police Department said there have been 89 suspected fatal overdoses in the city. The increase is ‘likely due’ to more deadly synthetic opioids being mixed into narcotics sold on the street, they wrote in a statement. Synthetic opioids are lethal, even in small doses, and ‘it’s very difficult to determine if the narcotics contain them prior to ingestion.’”

Andrew Krueger writes for MPR: “The National Weather Service reports at least four tornadoes touched down in Minnesota as severe storms swept across the region early Friday. The storms also brought more-widespread damaging straight-line winds that downed trees and branches. Authorities reported at least one death — in Mankato, where a 4-year-old girl died when a tree branch fell on a tent at a city park. Mankato city officials on Saturday identified her as Nytalia I. Ashes of Sioux Falls, S.D.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Kim Hyatt and Shannon Prather write: “As Bloomington police chief, Jeff Potts checked his phone 15 times every hour, every day. He rarely slept more than four hours a night. He missed his stepson’s hockey games. He never took a vacation. … So Potts retired early at age 52, leaving in January after three decades with the department, including 12 as chief. And he’s not alone. At least 32 police chiefs in Minnesota have retired this year — more than half of which were in the metro area — and another dozen retired in 2020.”

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In the Pioneer Press, Ava Kian reports: “Hoang Murphy announced his candidacy for the Minnesota House of Representatives for St. Paul’s District 67A Saturday, challenging incumbent Rep. John Thompson should he be on the 2022 ballot. The announcement comes after Minnesota House Democrats voted to expel Thompson from their caucus on Sept. 14. Thompson says he will continue to serve in the Legislature as an independent. Murphy, a lifelong Minnesotan and the son of immigrants who fled Vietnam, said in a news release he wants to focus on issues like affordable housing, creating union jobs and equitable education and resource allocation.”

The AP’s Stephen Groves reports: “South Dakota legislative leaders on Friday distributed a petition to lawmakers asking them to support a special session to consider impeaching Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg for a car crash last year that killed a pedestrian. House Speaker Spencer Gosch released the text of the petition. Two-thirds of both the Republican-controlled House and Senate must sign on to convene the special session. Lawmakers would meet in November, the day after they are scheduled to hold a special session to consider new legislative districts.”