Chauvin trial verdict: Minneapolis and US cities tighten up security

The verdict in one of the most closely watched police brutality trials in decades could come next week as metro Minneapolis and other cities recover from police deaths, including the shooting deaths of Daunte Wright, 20, by an officer in Brooklyn. Center last weekend a few kilometers from the courthouse.
Chicago has been on the cutting edge this week since authorities released body-worn camera footage showing an officer firing a single shot that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was holding a handgun he appeared to be relinquishing to the end of a foot chase according to the police.

A nationwide toll of policing and the systemic racial injustice rekindled by Floyd’s death last summer has sparked further, sometimes violent, protests this week.

Minneapolis public schools will switch to distance learning starting Wednesday in anticipation of a trial verdict, according to a letter to students and parents from Superintendent Ed Graff.

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Closing arguments will be delivered on Monday in the trial of the former officer who fucked Floyd’s neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May. Chauvin, 45, pleaded not guilty to unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

Graff said all students will take distance education from Wednesday at the end of the week. Sports events and before and after school childcare will not take place.

“The racism and violence that have been highlighted in these tragic incidents can be widely discussed among some students in our schools,” Graff said in the letter posted on the school system’s website.

“As appropriate and comfortable, teachers will give students the opportunity to process their feelings, how they personally feel, and how they are affected by having the world’s eyes on Minneapolis.”

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In downtown Minneapolis, where the sequestered jury will be holding deliberations, teams were seen this week setting up barbed wire around a police building. Similar steps have been taken at other police stations, according to Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder.

National Guard troops have been deployed to parts of downtown Minneapolis.

Mayor Jacob Frey said ahead of the trial that up to 2,000 members of the National Guard would be ready to respond along with 1,100 law enforcement personnel from 12 other jurisdictions.

The Hennepin County government center has been surrounded by fences and barricades since the jury selection began last month.

Workers installed security fences at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis last month.

Other U.S. cities brace for verdict and protests

In Los Angeles, police have stepped up community outreach efforts and have plans to make additional officers available, according to Captain Stacy Spell.

“We also strongly encourage that if the people who want to express themselves see something, they say something,” he said. “We don’t want small groups of individuals with malicious intent to hijack what would otherwise be a peaceful protest.”

In San Francisco, police said officers’ discretionary days off had been canceled and additional officers would be deployed.

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The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that it is coordinating efforts with local, state and federal law enforcement and officers are ready to respond quickly.

In New York, police were preparing for protests.

“We have constant, literally daily conversations,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Obviously, so much will happen depending on the verdict and how it is expressed.”

NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said the city has hosted an average of 10 to 20 protests a day since last year. “It’s never really over,” he told 1010 WINS radio on Wednesday.

“We’re just asking anyone who could voice their, you know, their concerns about this trial to work together, to do it peacefully, without material damage and we’ll all get through it together,” Shea said. .

The Philadelphia Police Department said it was ready “with additional personnel to secure and patrol strategic locations.”

In the nation’s capital, the Metropolitan Police Department will be “fully activated with members on 12-hour shifts starting Monday,” according to spokesman Hugh Carew.

Josh Campbell, Dan Przygoda, Hollie Silverman, Christina Carrega, Rob Frehse, Virginia Langmaid, Cheri Mossburg, Stephanie Elam and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.

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