MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — City leaders in Minneapolis announced Wednesday the outlines of a public safety plan for the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, the former city police officer accused of killing George Floyd.
In a statement, the city says that crews have already begun installing security perimeters around the Hennepin County Government Center, City Hall and other nearby buildings. Additionally, the Minnesota National Guard has been activated to provide assistance for the duration of the Chauvin trial, which will begin jury selection during the week of March 8.
At a morning press conference, Mayor Jacob Frey said that law enforcement presence will be increasing throughout the trial. At the time the verdict is read, up to 2,000 National Guard members could be on duty alongside 1,100 law enforcement officers from 11 different jurisdictions.
“As the national spotlight again turns to Minneapolis, our focus will remain on the safety of residents, small businesses, and neighborhoods whose lives and livelihoods will continue to be impacted throughout the trial,” Frey said, in a statement. “Public safety is our core responsibility while we work to honor the magnitude of this moment, partnering with communities confronting a renewed trauma from the killing of George Floyd. Our city will be tested in the weeks to come – and our local government is prepared to meet those challenges together.”
Beginning on March 1, Sixth Street South will be closed between Third and Fourth avenues in downtown Minneapolis. This section of Sixth Street is where the Hennepin County Courthouse stands. The city says it will provide updates on any other street closures.
The city says that it’s developing guidance for business and property owners on how to take precautions while remaining open for business during the trial. Likewise, the city’s Office of Violence Prevention will be working with neighborhoods and other groups to be prepared.
During the trial, the city says its communications team will be working with other agencies to keep the public informed, using various channels to share information, updates, and feedback from the community.
Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other former Minneapolis police officers are also charged with aiding and abetting. Their trial is set for later this year.
Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes while Floyd was handcuffed, repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe. Bystander video of the fatal arrest sparked protests and riots in Minneapolis and across the country.
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Source: CBS Minnesota