The Northern Lights Task Force in Minnesota arrested several people protesting Line 3 last weekend. Comments on social media led officers to believe that the protesters would be trying to confront law enforcement, leading to the arrest of up to 1,000 people.
The Northern Lights Task Force said in an official statement, “Many protesters did not abide by the law and engaged in actions that forced the hand of law enforcement and dispersal orders were given.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) caused another rift in the Democrat Party this week when she openly compared the United States and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas in a now-deleted tweet.
After an exchange with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, wherein Omar demanded an International Criminal Court investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan and Palestine, Omar took to Twitter, saying there have been “unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota implemented new changes to policing in a 4-1 vote in the city council meeting, following the death of Daunte Wright in April. The changes include a new department of public safety that will have unarmed officers to conduct traffic stops and a mental health division.
Daunte Wright was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Park Police Officer Kim Potter, after it was discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest. Wright did not follow police instructions and reentered his vehicle while the officers were attempting to arrest him.
A 50 year old murder was recently solved when police arrested Barry Lee Whelpley of Mounds View, Minnesota for the murder of 15 year-old Julie Ann Hanson. The murder took place in Chicago, Illinois when Whelpley was 27, in 1972.
The girl was stabbed 36 times and was sexually assaulted. Her body was discovered in a field in Naperville, Illinois after she had been reported missing. At the time, no suspects were arrested in the case.
The Minneapolis Democrat Farmer Laborer (DFL) Party moved their caucus process online and are now being accused of discrimination. Three DFL leaders, DFL Party activist Ken Vreeland, and former Minneapolis Council members Tony Scallon and Lisa MacDonald, have come out in opposition to the online system, saying that it prohibits people who don’t have the resources to access the online system from participating.
They say that the online system has led to the “disenfranchisement of thousands of voters, fraudulent registrations, and preferential treatment of campaigns.” According to Vreeland, MacDonald, and Scallon it disproportionately affects minorities and the elderly, because of a lack of resources to access the online caucus. Scallon also said that “the party’s request for voters’ ages amounts to discrimination.” According to the Star Tribune, Scallon said that “They [caucus participants] thought they were done when they got done registering. We’ve never had a required verification before and so a lot of people have been denied and they did not get to be delegates. It’s just really a mess.”
The brother of Winston Smith, a wanted man who was shot and killed in an officer involved shooting incident after he pulled a gun on police, has spoken out about the need for police. He feels his brother’s death was an injustice but wants to work together with police to improve the justice system.
Winston Smith’s brother, Kidale Smith, was seen shaking hands and hugging police officers who were out on the streets monitoring the protests that had been taking place since his brother’s death. He reported that he felt like maybe the police officers needed a voice too.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) has joined the progressive chorus in calling for the head of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who stated his opposition to H.R. 1 in an opinion piece over the weekend.
“The reason this bill has no Republican support is because it gets in the way of Republican plans to undermine elections. This bill protects our democracy from Republican attempts to dismantle it,” Omar said on Twitter, likening the Democrat to a member of the opposite party.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said at a recent meeting that employees of color in Minneapolis have “been carrying the burden of white supremacy.”
In a May 28 meeting, Bender referred to an open letter which all city employees are invited to sign — anyone who signs the letter is acknowledging racism as a public health crisis, accepting responsibility for the “pain” they have caused as “stewards of the City of Minneapolis’s policies,” and recognizing that Minneapolis has been and continues to be harmful to the BIPOC community.
The letter was filed into the official city record and will be published on June 11 with the signatures of all who choose to sign, making it easy to know which employees decide not to sign the letter.
Activists from out of state will be coming to Minnesota to protest the Line 3 pipeline. On a Facebook post from Minnesotans for Line 3, they write that “Minnesota will soon be hosting some visitors in early June, including Chris Balch from New Hampshire.”
According to the Monadnock Ledger, “Chris Balch of Wilton and Kai Parlett of Manchester are among New Hampshire residents who are making the trip to Northern Minnesota on the weekend of June 5 to participate in the ongoing protests against the construction of the pipeline.”
Winston Smith, the man killed by U.S. Marshals in Minneapolis after he reportedly fired a weapon at them when they attempted to take him into custody over an outstanding state warrant, posed for a photo with high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, apparently while he was a fugitive from justice.
The photo was posted to Smith’s Instagram with the caption “#Greatness” on May 24.
Riots and protests broke out on Thursday after city officials began taking apart George Floyd Square to reopen the section for traffic. At the same time, a wanted man was killed in an officer involved shooting.
Protests had already been occurring at George Floyd Square where workers were busy dismantling barriers and opening the roads again for traffic. There was pushback from those who were there protesting and some barriers were replaced.
According to Fox News, the City of Minneapolis began removing barriers and trying to reopen the intersection on Thursday, after over a year of the section of street being occupied by protesters.
George Floyd Square, which has been occupied by protesters since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, was “a makeshift shrine and focus of protests” and “a semi-autonomous, pedestrian territory symbolizing community resistance.”
A man, Winston Smith, 32 with multiple warrants out for his arrest was fatally shot on Thursday in Minneapolis after pulling out a handgun while being stopped by police. Riots broke out against police brutality again, due to the race of the man shot.
This instance took place while the city of Minneapolis was removing barriers at the monument that had been erected to honor George Floyd, the man killed by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin last May.
The percentage of Minnesota parents seeking educational options by home schooling their school-age children picked up significantly during the pandemic.
According to U.S. Census data, 4.6% of Minnesota students were home-schooled during the first weeks of the pandemic. By October 2020, that number rose 5.1 percentage points to 9.7%. The standard of error for the first number is 1.29, and 1.88 for the second number.
Rep. Jim Hagedorn slammed President Joe Biden’s “America last” policies after visiting the southern border last week.
“It’s like they flipped a switch and they had open borders. Before you know it, catch-and-release is back and people are literally, for all intents and purposes, being invited to the border because they know they’re going to be processed and then sent deep into the United States, and given a lot of free things as they go,” Hagedorn told Newsmax.
After the former State Fair Police Chief retired, the Minnesota State Fair has gone back to the drawing board for assembling a police presence for the upcoming fair. Rather than have their own force, as they have had for over 40 years, they will be working with a local department to provide security for the 2021 fair.
The former state fair police officers were much like other police officers. Former State Fair Police Chief Paul Paulos said “State Fair police officers are armed. And they’re licensed and trained like any other officer.” In prior years, the State Fair Police Department would be made up of retired police officers, other trained officers, and police officers working in their spare time.
An email from the city of Minneapolis, written to all city employees, reveals that the employees are being asked to sign a letter acknowledging the “devastating intergenerational harms of systemic racism and racial injustice.”
The letter was read to the public during the May 28, 2021 Minneapolis City Council meeting, by Daniel La Croix, with Minneapolis Regulatory Services.
Rashad Turner, a former leader of St. Paul’s Black Lives Matter chapter, said he resigned from the organization because it does not help black communities.
In a video released by Take Charge Minnesota, Turner spoke out about his decision to leave the Black Lives Matter movement. Take Charge Minnesota is an initiative led by Kendall Qualls, a former Republican candidate for Congress.
According to Turner, Black Lives Matter does not address a root issue within black communities — family structures. Instead, the group has worked to further degrade the concept of the nuclear family and is not interested in promoting quality education for young African Americans, according to Turner.
Residents of Hennepin County should not expect to renew their licenses, get a Real ID, or transfer a vehicle title anytime soon, as DMV branches across the county are experiencing long wait times for appointment bookings.
A calendar of available times for each branch and appointment type reveals that some branches don’t have open appointments until August.
For residents who go to the Ridgedale DMV branch, the earliest opening is currently August 2 for all services, including Real ID, enhanced license, state ID, vehicle title transfer, and license plate tab appointments.
On April 26, a source close to Alpha News scheduled an appointment at the Ridgedale DMV intending to update a home address on his driver’s license, and the earliest availability at the time was July 12.
Minneapolis just announced a new community safety program in an attempt to stop the increase in violence that has occurred over the last year.
This new initiative is backed by the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, as well as other leaders in the community. The goal is to help stop the explosion of gun crime in recent days, through an effort called Community Safety Specialists (CSS).
Hamline University, along with Sankore Consulting, is hosting an online Equity Education Edcamp this summer for the Northeast Metro School District 916.
The event, titled Minnesota Educational Equity Edcamp, is to equip teachers to better help families and students of color. The session is called “Decolonizing Forgiveness: Moving from Apologies to Accountability.”
In the middle of a gathering at George Floyd Square on May 25, 2021 commemorating the one year anniversary of the death of black man, George Floyd, while undergoing arrest by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, 30 shots were fired, sending one victim to the hospital.
The gunfire erupted on live television, as seen on the ABC News live stream. A voice can be heard yelling at people to get down.
100 parents were reportedly in attendance at a school board meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota on Tuesday to speak out against Critical Race Theory being implemented.
Two concerned parents spoke at the meeting and protested the “indoctrination” of Critical Race Theory and said that Critical Race Theory is opposed to their Christian faith. The couple, Jim and Keisha, said that they were there to speak for the “millions of black Americans who disagree with the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The former lead prosecutor assigned to the case of ex-Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter has resigned, citing partisan politics and casting doubt on whether justice can be effectively pursued in today’s political climate.
Prosecuting attorney Imran Ali wrote the following in resignation letter:
As violent crime in Minneapolis continues to skyrocket, three young children were shot over the course of ten days. Prominent government officials have made no official statement regarding the violence that sent La’Davionne (10), Trinity (9), and Aniya (6) to the hospital in critical condition.
Aniya died in the hospital of her injuries on Wednesday, May 19th. The other two remain hospitalized.
A St. Paul public safety committee recently called for a slew of operations to be moved out of the police department and into non-law enforcement divisions.
The St. Paul “Community-First Public Safety Commission” advised the city to “rethink” its response to certain service calls and provided specific measures to implement in traffic-stop scenarios. The commission was appointed by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and is headed by the Citizens League, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization.
The commission’s recommendations call for ending the practice of pulling people over for “motor vehicle repair notices” and “other moving violations.” Instead, police should “utilize a mailed citation,” according to the commission. Repair notices include broken lights, turn-signal malfunctions, and expired tabs, to name a few.
COVID-19 hospitalizations fell below 400 in Minnesota for the first time since March, state health officials reported Friday.
About 396 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data reports. Of those, 116 are in an intensive care unit.
Hospitalizations peaked at 699 in early 2021, but have fallen following the first vaccine injection of 2.8 million Minnesotans, or 63% of state residents ages 16 and older. COVID-19 disproportionately killed older people. About 90% of Minnesotan’s COVID-19 deaths were seniors ages 65 and older.
2020 was one of the deadliest years in Minneapolis history with 83 homicides, yet the city is on track to surpass that record number in 2021.
The Minneapolis City Council was told Thursday that homicides have more than doubled so far this year compared to the same timeframe last year. This year’s 27 murders (as of May 17) represent a 108% increase over the 13 reported at this point in time last year.
With 97 homicides, 1995 was the worst year on record, followed by 83 in 1996, meaning 2020 tied for the second-worst year.
Gov. Tim Walz has proposed the use of incentives like shopping vouchers and fishing licenses for Minnesotans who receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Walz spoke at the Mall of America Wednesday at an event intended to encourage children to get vaccinated. Currently, 62% of the population aged 16 and older have received at least one round of the vaccine. The governor is hoping to grow that number to at least 70%.
Walz said some states are offering prizes that are “a little gimmicky,” when “what really gets people is knowing they can take the afternoon off, or if they’re not feeling good the next day, they’ll still get paid and their employer will let them.
A St. Paul elementary school announced to parents that students will be expected to continue wearing their masks while outside at recess, despite seeing zero COVID-19 cases in the school and receiving new guidance from the district.
St. Anthony Park Elementary School notified families of this rule in a letter from the principal, saying it “may seem overly cautious,” but several reasons contributed to the decision, including concern from parents and staff.
A painting of a Minneapolis police station going up in flames won a recent award from a student-run art magazine at Valparaiso University.
“Order is Not Justice,” a work by Sam “Doc” Janowiak, received a first-place award in the annual “Artivism” contest run by The Lighter, a campus magazine featuring promoting poetry, short stories, and visual arts.
Janowiak told The College Fix the title of the painting was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., who wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail:
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”
Two students for the University of Northwestern – St. Paul have launched a petition calling on the school to turn away from Critical Race Theory and other progressive ideologies, arguing that such theories run counter to the school’s Christian foundation.
Students at Northwestern St. Paul University Hayley Tschetter and Joshua Feland created a change.org petition warning the community about “destructive” concepts that are becoming commonplace in higher-education.
“Intentional or not, exchanging the biblical worldview and faithful Christian teaching for those worldviews rooted in anti-biblical ideologies such as Marxism, Postmodernism, Social Justice Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality leads down a destructive one-way road from which you cannot return.”
Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement starting Friday, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings.
“So, those peacetime emergencies are done and the business mitigations are coming to an end. I want to be clear it’s not the end of the pandemic, but it is the end of the pandemic for a lot of vaccinated folks,” he told reporters.
Minnesotans who aren’t fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.
DFL senators claimed on Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s decision to end all coronavirus restrictions on the Senate floor was “unnecessary, premature, and unwise.”
Just two days later, several Senate DFL members threw their masks in the air in what they called “Mary Tyler Moore style” after hearing about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new mask guidance.
A photo from Senate Media Services shows eight maskless Democratic senators tossing their masks in the air.
The Minnesota House voted 72-61 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and expunge minor marijuana convictions.
The Senate leader, however, designated the bill dead upon arrival.
“The war on drugs is a failed policy,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said. “The harms caused by current cannabis laws cannot be allowed to continue. Minnesota’s illegal cannabis market creates bad outcomes for everyone. Responsible regulations and safeguards to prevent youth access are a better solution to address the harms our current laws fail to address.”
Over 200 police officers have left, are in the process of leaving, or are on extended leave from the Minneapolis Police Department.
Several police officers explained it is due to lack of support and the feeling that they had to defend themselves throughout the course of the riots that plagued the city last summer, according to a report from WCCO in Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s mask mandate will come to an end Friday, a maskless Gov. Tim Walz announced at a Thursday night press conference.
The polarizing mandate has been in place since July 25. Walz said last week that he would lift the mandate on July 1 or when 70% of the eligible population received a vaccine — whichever came first.
But a new guidance released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
They mayor of Minneapolis, who himself has bashed police in order to placate the Black Lives Matter mob, now says that calls to “defund the police” have led to a spike in crime in the city.
“The violence needs to stop, it’s unacceptable. People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood, they deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding these perpetrators accountable,” Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said.
A Minneapolis City Council member said his life was endangered when Mayor Jacob Frey criticized his “public commitment to defunding and abolishing” the police department.
Council Member Phillipe Cunningham has been engaged in a public spat with the mayor over the past several days and blamed him for the shocking uptick in crime across Minnesota’s largest city.
“Last night, 78 shots were fired in one incident in my ward. Within a 20 minute period there were five other incidents of shots fired throughout the ward last night, as well. I was informed by constituents that about two hours ago, an Amazon truck was hit with bullets near Loring School. This is just a few of the incidents that have taken place in the last 24 hours in just Ward 4,” Cunningham said in a Friday email to Frey.
U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota recently accepted money from New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a donation that is controversial even among her fellow Democrats.
AOC, who identifies as a socialist, formed her own PAC called “Courage to Change” last year in a bid to distance herself from the establishment left. Now, she uses this organization to bankroll potential allies like Craig, who was recently given $5,000.
Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against them by religious leaders who believe their First Amendment rights were violated by the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) sued state leaders in May 2020 on behalf of Northland Baptist Church, Pastor John Bruski, Living Word Christian Center, and several small businesses.
The lawsuit argued that Gov. Walz “imposed irrational and discriminatory restrictions on Christian assembly” in his COVID-19 executive orders.
A federal grand jury has indicted four ex-Minneapolis police officers on federal civil rights charges related to the death of George Floyd.
The first indictment charges Derek Chauvin, 45; Tou Thao, 35; J. Alexander Kueng, 27; and Thomas Lane, 38. The three-count indictment alleges that all four defendants willfully deprived Floyd of his constitutional rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242.
Count one of the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2020, Chauvin pressed his left knee on Floyd’s neck, and his right knee on Floyd’s back and arm, as Floyd lay on the ground, handcuffed and unresisting, and kept his knees on Floyd’s neck and body even after Mr. Floyd became unresponsive.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) wants Senate Democrats to step to the plate and abolish the filibuster, which would pave the way for near-total Democrat control of Congress.
“Please stop asking us about bipartisanship when this is what the leader of the other party is focused on,” she said on Twitter. “Democrats can’t repeat the mistake of 2009, we must abolish the filibuster & move legislation that helps us deliver progress for the American people. Let’s grow a backbone.”