The murder trial of Chauvin, 44, is set for March 8 in MinneapolisMinnesota Governor Tim Walz has highlighted a proposal for a $35million fu
The murder trial of Chauvin, 44, is set for March 8 in Minneapolis
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has highlighted a proposal for a $35million fund for extensive security plans around Derek Chauvin’s trial for the death of George Floyd.
Officials are planning to bring in hundreds of officers from across the state and even the National Guard if violent protests erupt around the March 8 trail of Chauvin, 44. They are also considering building a perimeter wall around the city’s courthouse and government administration building.
Authorities fear a repeat of the crime and disorder that spread through the city as protesters looted and rioted in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 44 seconds, killing him on May 25, 2020.
‘We know we can’t predict every public safety challenge that may arise, but we can and must be prepared to protect Minnesotans’ safety,’ Walz tweeted on Wednesday.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has highlighted a proposal for a $35million fund to pay for hundreds more police officers, pictured in Minneapolis last year during George Floyd protests, to deal with civil unrest
Last year, cities like Minneapolis, pictured, saw massive protests including rioting and burning after the death of George Floyd
‘That’s why our budget includes aid for local governments, from Centerville to St. Paul, for expenses that arise from extraordinary events.’
Walz said in a news conference on Wednesday that $35million State Aid for Emergencies account is needed for security plans that have been made for the trial months ago.
‘This is an opportunity for Minnesota to put a face forward to the world to show that we can protect First Amendment rights and we can make sure that public safety is adhered to,’ Walz said.
The security plan will likely involve the National Guard and hundreds of officers from agencies across the state, Axios reported.
Exact details of the security plan were not immediately clear, but there are also talks of building a perimeter around the Hennepin County Government Center.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, pictured, said the fund would be used to reimburse agencies across the state for providing security for the trial
Rural Republicans have since resisted against the governor’s plans, claiming their communities shouldn’t be forced to ‘bail out’ Minneapolis and St. Paul.
‘We are not going to bail out Minneapolis city council after they have made cuts to the public safety budget,’ said GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.
‘Actions to defund the police have consequences.’
Gazelka, at a news conference on Thursday, added that ‘too many communities did not get paid when they came to Minneapolis’ aid throughout the summer.’
‘That’s wrong. Minneapolis needs to make sure that they take care of their bills,’ he said.
Gazelka’s spokeswoman said the city still owes other law enforcement agencies $137,000 for their assistance last summer.
Last June, the Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to replace the city’s police department with a community-led public safety system.
Dozens of officers quit the force in protest at a $1million budget cut and promises from city leaders to scrap the entire department.
Minneapolis then had to scramble to draft in cops from outside the city’s force to help fight a wave of violent crime.
The city council the voted to ‘refund the police’ authorizing $500,000 in funding for the police department to hire more cops to work through the end of 2020.
Chauvin was arrested after he was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 44 seconds
Left to right: Former Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao who are also facing trials for the death of George Floyd
City officials later claimed that ‘defund the police’ was ‘not the framework the council has ever chosen.’
Minnesota Senate Republicans offered a counter-proposal to Walz’s request for security funding on Thursday.
The Republican proposal would target Minneapolis by requiring cities to pay for assistance provided by other local law enforcement agencies that send in personnel.
Under the proposal, the state would divert money a city gets from the state’s local government aid program to bay the bill if a city fails to reimburse those agencies for their help.
The Republican plan contains no new money for trial-related security.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said cities don’t usually charge each other for help in a crisis, and that the city only received the two invoices for assistance last summer.
Frey also pointed out that $617 million collected by the state from Minneapolis in sales tax alone in 2017 was nearly $100 million more than the total amount of local government aid distributed by the state that same year.
‘In other words, what the state collects from MPLS in sales tax – that´s not including income and property taxes – is enough to cover LGA for every municipality in the state.’ the mayor tweeted.
‘In good times and tough times, our state works best when we all pull together.’
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo notified the council Thursday that his department is now down to about 640 available officers, 200 fewer than two years ago.
Attrition last year was about 105 officers, compared with 40 to 44 in a typical year. The department´s authorized strength is 888.
‘That increased rate of attrition has made planning and staffing more challenging amid a tumultuous time,’ Frey said in a Facebook post.
‘We’ve had to make hard decisions to shift available resources to patrol and investigative work.’
Those decisions have included drastic reductions in community-oriented policing initiatives, fewer officers for the SWAT team and bomb squad and fewer trainers, he said.
Minutes before the news conference, Walz´s office made public a letter he received in December signed by Gazelka and six other Senate Republicans showing that they had been willing to spend state money just a few weeks ago.
It asked the governor to ‘urgently consider’ a $7.6 million request by the Minneapolis Police Department for costs related to preventing potential unrest when Chauvin goes on trial March 8.
‘The rioting we saw this summer not only caused unnecessary injuries and loss of life, but also destroyed the livelihoods of many of our neighbors and prevented citizens from engaging in their right to peacefully protest,’ the letter reads.
‘It is our hope that you share with us the desire that this devastation that our community experienced will never happen again.’
On Tuesday, a Minnesota judge approved a divorce settlement between Chauvin and his wife, according to redacted court documents made public Thursday.