Police are investigating a string of sexual assaults at a homeless encampment in a Minneapolis park, according to various news reports.
Since June 26, Minneapolis Park Police have received three reports of sexual assault in Powderhorn Park, where more than 850 people have set up a 560-tent encampment, according to KARE 11. Two of the assaults involved juvenile victims. Read More
A Republican lawmaker has drafted a bill that would require Minnesota to sell a facility it purchased for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.
Due to a projected surge in COVID-19 fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million in May to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains.” As of early June, however, the facility had yet to be used. Read More
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan shared a post on social media over the Independence Day weekend calling Mount Rushmore a “symbol of white supremacy.”
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today. It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide,” said the post, which Flanagan shared on her Instagram. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz is expected to call another special session by the end of the week in order to extend his peacetime emergency powers.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alerted members and staff in a Monday email about the likely special session. Read More
State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a practicing physician, revealed Sunday that anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is one of the most important videos I’ve made and one of the hardest,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook. “Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I had made.” Read More
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who welcomed the destruction of a Christopher Columbus statue, chairs the board responsible for Capitol artwork and monuments. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz recently filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed on May 28 by four members of the New House Republican Caucus, the Free Minnesota Coalition, and at least eight businesses across the state. The complaint argues that the governor does not have the authority to “suspend the constitutional rights of Minnesotans.” Read More
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) introduced a bill last week that would create a “job guarantee program” at the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Workforce Promotion and Access Act, sponsored by Omar and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ-12), seeks to get more Americans “back to work in living-wage jobs created directly by the federal government.” Read More
Gov. Tim Walz has requested federal financial assistance to help the Twin Cities recover from more than $500 million worth of damage caused by rioting.
In a press release, Walz’s office said nearly 1,500 Twin Cities businesses were vandalized, burned, or looted during the late May riots, with current estimates of the damage exceeding $500 million. Read More
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) praised FedEx and Nike for their efforts to pressure the Washington Redskins into changing the team’s “harmful” name and mascot.
“I have been working on this for almost a decade because I believe all people, including Native Americans, should be treated with dignity and respect – and not dehumanized as mascots,” McCollum said in a statement. Read More
Two Republican state senators asked the Minnesota Historical Society to repair and restore a Christopher Columbus statue that was torn down outside the Minnesota Capitol three weeks ago.
Although the incident took place in broad daylight and was recorded by countless news stations and reporters, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said last week the investigation remains ongoing. Read More
The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday declaring racism a “public health crisis.”
Commissioners Angela Conley and Irene Fernando introduced the resolution, which passed in a vote of 6-1.
“Ultimately this resolution is about the health and well-being of Hennepin County residents who have borne the brunt of racial discrimination and racial inequity through various different systems,” Conley said in a press release after the resolution passed. Read More
Three more Minnesotans are facing federal arson charges in connection to the late May riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Both Matthew Scott White, 31, and Mohamed Hussein Abdi, 19, were arrested on June 29 and charged with one count of arson. Read More
A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members don’t stop speaking out about the case.
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order against attorneys on both sides, but he said he likely will if public statements continue that make it hard to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that would also make him likely to grant a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz said a statewide mask mandate to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is “on the table” during a Monday press conference.
According to Walz, Republican governors who participated in a Monday phone call with Vice President Mike Pence were also “exploring the idea.” Read More
The Minnesota Legislature’s recent special session ended with no major accomplishments, but the eight-day session will still cost taxpayers an estimated $108,000.
The special session concluded on June 20 after Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in the House failed to reach an agreement on police reform legislation, the allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds, and other leftover business from the regular session, such as a borrowing package for public infrastructure projects. Read More
Minneapolis has spent $63,000 on private security for three council members who want to abolish the city’s police department.
Council Member Phillipe Cunningham confirmed the report in a statement released on Twitter Friday night. Read More
A Minnesota judge on Friday rejected allowing cameras in the court for pretrial proceedings of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. Read More
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing Friday that the Democrat-led police reform bill is “worthy of George Kirby’s name.”
The bill, however, is named for George Floyd, who died one month ago while in the custody of the Minneapolis police. Read More
President Donald Trump will kick off Independence Day weekend with an event at Mount Rushmore, which has prompted some local leaders to call for the removal of one of the nation’s most iconic monuments.
Several groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota’s Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009. Read More
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal to change the city charter to allow the police department to be dismantled, following widespread criticism of law enforcement over the killing of George Floyd. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz approved plans Thursday to distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus aid to cities and counties across Minnesota, along with another $12 million for food banks and food shelves that have seen a surge in demand since the pandemic hit the state. Read More
Three Republican state senators called on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and its response to recent unrest in the city.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) announced plans to hold a series of legislative oversight hearings beginning July 1 on state and local responses to the riots. Read More
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), whom The Wall Street Journal recently described as the “heir to Trumpism,” has launched a new ad attacking Joe Biden for his failure to stand up to the “liberal mob.”
Cotton is running unopposed in his reelection bid and is considered a likely future presidential candidate for the Republicans. Read More
It’s been two weeks since a Christopher Columbus statue was toppled outside the Minnesota Capitol, but the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the investigation remains ongoing.
A spokesperson for the agency told KSTP chief political reporter Tom Hauser that the “investigation continues as the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] works to identify other participants in the incident, beyond the leader.” Read More
The owner of a Sauk Rapids bar and restaurant has sued a local activist group for defamation after it boasted about getting the business removed from a tourism website.
Rollie Hogrefe, owner of Rollie’s Rednecks and Longnecks, filed a defamation and tortious interference lawsuit Wednesday against the “radical agitators” of UniteCloud and its executive director Natalie Ringsmuth. Read More
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin falsely claimed that Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis is “denouncing the need for police reform.”
Lewis, a former congressman who’s running against Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), hosted a press conference Monday outside the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct to express his support for the “good men and women of law enforcement,” and condemn Democratic efforts to abolish the police. Read More
Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08), a former law enforcement officer of more than 20 years, announced last week that he will carry police reform legislation in the U.S. House.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced on Wednesday the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, a Republican-backed police reform bill that was set in motion after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Read More
Republican congressional candidate Kendall Qualls said the “chief barrier to the advancement of the African-American community is the rise of single-parent households,” not “racism, police brutality or white privilege.”
Qualls is running against Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03), a first-term Democrat who unseated former Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen in 2018. Read More
President Donald Trump described Minneapolis officials as “stone-cold crazy” during his return to the campaign trail Saturday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The lawlessness of the “radical left” was a recurring theme of the president’s speech, and Minneapolis was a prime target.
“Our incredible success in rebuilding America stands in stark contrast to the extremism and destruction and violence of the radical left,” the president said early in his 90-minute address. Read More
Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”
The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month. Read More
Two Hennepin County commissioners plan to introduce a resolution this week that would declare racism a “public health crisis.”
Commissioner Angela Conley announced Friday that she will introduce the resolution with Commissioner Irene Fernando during Tuesday’s Board meeting. Read More
A second former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd is out of jail after posting bail. Read More
Republican lawmakers who sued Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that he has failed to provide legal justification for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are winning on this issue, and Gov. Walz knows it,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), one of 13 Republican lawmakers who joined a lawsuit against Walz over his use of emergency powers during the pandemic. Read More
Mayor Emily Larson said she wants the Duluth City Council to approve an ordinance that would remove the word “chief” from a city government job title.
“We are dropping the name chief with intention and with purpose so that we have more inclusive leadership and less language that is rooted in hurt,” said Larson, who called the title “offensive” and intentionally marginalizing. Read More
Under a resolution passed this week, Minneapolis leaders said they will allow the city’s homeless population to seek “refuge” in public parks.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) approved the resolution during a Wednesday meeting. According to a press release, the resolution “allows those currently experiencing homelessness to seek refuge on Minneapolis parkland,” and requests assistance from federal and state agencies in finding a permanent housing solution. Read More
Both Target and Best Buy have announced plans to make Juneteenth a company-wide holiday, an idea that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wants to institute on the federal level.
“One of the most defining days in our nation’s history was when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, finally freeing all slaves in Confederate territory. But slaves in Texas wouldn’t learn this life-altering news for two and a half years,” Cornyn said during a Senate floor speech Thursday. Read More
At least three more Minnesotans were charged this week for their involvement in the destruction of Minneapolis.
On Monday, U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald announced that 25-year-old Montez Terrill Lee of Rochester was charged with arson for starting a pawn shop on fire. According to a criminal complaint, surveillance video showed a masked man, later identified as Lee, pouring liquid from a metal container throughout the pawn shop on the night of May 28. Read More
Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the statewide primary election in August under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuits were filed by political arms of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. A Ramsey County judge signed off on the consent decree with the retirees Wednesday while a federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case. Read More
Several schools across the nation have launched memorial scholarships in honor of George Floyd, including the University of Minnesota and its law school.
The University of Minnesota Law School announced the creation of a George Floyd Memorial Scholarship in Law on Monday. Read More
Nine more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. Read More
A 911 dispatcher who was apparently watching in real time as a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the neck of George Floyd called a supervisor to tell him what she saw, not caring if it made her look like a “snitch,” according to a recording of the call made public Monday.
In the call, the dispatcher calls a police sergeant and says what she was seeing on live video looked “different” and that she wanted to let him know about it. The dispatcher was in a 911 call center at the time and was watching video from a surveillance camera posted at the intersection where police apprehended Floyd, according to city spokesman Casper Hill. Read More
The St. Paul Saints announced Friday that the team will be participating in a 60-game season beginning July 3, but all games will be played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until “capacity restrictions for outdoor events have relaxed.”
The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball said the shortened season will run from July 3 to September 10, concluding with a championship series between the top two teams. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs. Read More
An Eden Prairie School Board member broke his silence Monday after learning that the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) won’t be releasing state guidance on the upcoming academic year until July 27.
Three scenarios are possible for the 2020-21 school year, including continued distance learning, the resumption of in-person instruction, or a mix of the two. Read More
At least seven Minneapolis police officers have quit and another seven are in the process of resigning, citing a lack of support from department and city leaders as protests over George Floyd’s death escalated. Read More
As Minneapolis prepares to “abolish” its police force, a recent survey found that most truck drivers won’t deliver to cities with defunded or disbanded police departments.
According to a survey from CDLLife, a resource site for the trucking industry, 79 percent of truck drivers said they will refuse to deliver freight to cities with defunded police departments. Read More
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he won’t join other major companies in boycotting Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show on Fox News.
“MyPillow is not changing its advertising. I make all my advertising decisions based on what is best for my customers and my employees,” Lindell said in a statement provided to Newsweek. “MyPillow believes all lives matter and values all our employees and customers, treating them like family.” Read More
Edina Realty fired one of its agents last week after she posted on Facebook about removing Black Lives Matter signs from light poles outside her apartment building.
The real estate agency was informed via a Facebook comment that Babette Gillet Bean, a longtime employee of the company, had “actively participated in the removal of BLM signs that have been posted in her neighborhood.” Read More
A DFL lawmaker revealed on Twitter this week that she’s “tried a bunch of times” to get a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln removed from the Minnesota House chamber.
State Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton) said it’s “hard to look at” House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) when she’s “standing in front of Lincoln.” Read More
The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners expressed its “alarm and concern” regarding the state’s recent purchase of a commercial facility in St. Paul for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.
“On behalf of the Ramsey County Board, we are writing to express our alarm and concern regarding your decision to purchase the former Bix site for use as a morgue during the COVID-19 emergency. We fear that this location will only exacerbate the challenges facing the surrounding community, which is already one of the poorest, most vulnerable, and most disinvested in Minnesota,” the board said in a letter sent last week to Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly. Read More