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Growing tension in Minneapolis as trial looms in Floyd death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Barbed wire and concrete barriers surround the courthouse where the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will soon go on trial, a sign of the deep...

2/28/2021 12:18:00 AM

Barbed wire and concrete barriers surround the courthouse where the white former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd is soon due to go on trial. It's a sign of the uneasiness hanging over the city.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Barbed wire and concrete barriers surround the courthouse where the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will soon go on trial, a sign of the deep...

Many demonstrated peacefully. But for several nights, the unrest spiraled into violence, with stores looted and set ablaze along the Lake Street commercial artery that included the 3rd Precinct police station, which was home to the officers who arrested Floyd. The station itself was eventually abandoned by police and burned by rioters. Some nervous neighborhoods formed watch groups, setting up checkpoints and sometimes armed patrols. The violence finally subsided after National Guard troops arrived in sufficient numbers.

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As the city moves to make the courthouse virtually impenetrable, some people worry about what might happen elsewhere if Chauvin is acquitted.Elias Usso’s pharmacy on Lake Street had been open less than a year when it was destroyed by fire and water. He blames Chauvin personally for what he considers “the murder of an innocent man” as well as the destruction that followed — estimated at more than $350 million in Minneapolis alone.

ADVERTISEMENT“One police officer did that,” Usso said. “Something has to change.”His Seward Pharmacy has reopened with help from donors. In between vaccinating customers against COVID-19, Usso — an Ethiopian immigrant and a Black man — talked of still feeling the emotional turmoil over Floyd’s death and the unrest, and his concerns about the trial.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to my business. We’re waiting to see,” Usso said. “But I will continue to give service to our neighbors and delivering prescriptions to grandma and grandpa. If something happens, we’re going to continue.”Frey said more than 3,000 law enforcement officers from across the state and Minnesota National Guard soldiers will be at the ready when the case goes to the jury, expected in late April or early May.

Frey last week declared that Minneapolis remains “open for business,” and said people should go about their lives as usual.But the security going up around the Hennepin County courthouse, City Hall and the jail — all in the heart of downtown — is extraordinary. It includes three rings of concrete barriers, two topped by chain-link fencing with a trough in between filled with coils of razor wire. The innermost fence is topped with barbed wire, and ground-floor windows at all three buildings are boarded up.

Protest leaders are on edge, too. They accuse authorities of creating a police state downtown that could trample their freedoms of speech and assembly.“It’s not going to dissuade us from protesting. We’re determined to let our voices be heard,” said Linden Gawboy, an activist with the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar, which formed after the police killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis in 2015.

It’s not just the courthouse that’s barricaded. The state Capitol in St. Paul has been ringed with temporary fencing ever since last summer’s unrest. Inside, lawmakers have squabbled for weeks over providing extra state money for security during the trials, though Walz and other officials say they’ll manage one way or another.

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“There’s going to be very high emotion on all sides of this, and we’ll be prepared,” Walz said.Julie Ingebretsen, owner of a Scandinavian food and gift market on Lake Street that was founded by her Norwegian grandfather, said she’s not boarding up, though she expects some will in the miles-long commercial corridor that includes many immigrant- and minority-run businesses. Some have never taken down the plywood that they put up last summer.

While Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace was looted and vandalized, she said she was fortunate that her store wasn’t burned. She said she feels “cautiously optimistic” now because of personal outreach efforts by Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other city officials, and their assurances that plenty of police and Guard members will be standing by.

“We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary this year, so we have every intention of celebrating another 100, and not going anywhere,” Ingebretsen said. “We are totally committed to keeping moving forward.” Read more: The Associated Press »

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The 'white' police officer... Is there really any question as to why this courthouse needs multiple layers of fences and barbed wire. At what point do we wake up and say the media is the ones spurring the hatred and division in this country. News Nah. It's a sign of the toxicity of my city! Minnesota nice Racism and pending Acquittals

We no what this means. Never seen unrest from a cop being found guilty. We watched him die! 🤬 Those that want anarchy can’t wait in anticipation. When it u folds let see how all react. Justice for Black Americans is worth the cost. Next time they attempt a cover-up possibly they should weigh the future costs in human decency and true justice in the first place and admit their bigotry and own it. The money is a small price to pay for an end to systemic racism.

This again? White people do all this stupid shit by mistreating people of color then throw up barbed wire and concrete because they're scared of the people they mistreat. I'm white and I think it's fucking embarrassing how whites think they're superior to everyone else. Clearly anticipating that justice will not be served in the courtroom.

A G Barr should have accepted the guilty plea when it was offered. Fed & DC govt didn’t erect barbed wire &concrete barriers to protect US Capitol,frmr VP Pence,US House & US Senate from the deadly 1/6/21 Republican terrorist attack, which resulted in at least 5 deaths, including least 1 police.DerekChauvin is more impt to CityMinneapolis?

They better do right by George Floyd. That proves our point... 'Cowards enjoy killing, but they are afraid of death.. they die many times before their death,,. One way to prevent outrage: hold a fair trial and don't treat the former Minneapolis cop any different than the rest of us would be treated had we done the same thing.

Let’s remember that this police officers supporters love the blue and come in peace, unless you disagree with them in which case they’ll beat police officers to death with fire extinguishers Whatever you guys do don't go on the CourtTV youtube regarding this case unless you want to be met with the most inbred people and dumbest racist comments you've ever seen.

Yeah you had to make that fence because of black people and woke white liberals who support BLMAntifaTerrorists be real FUCKING news for once lockhimup