Governor Tim Walz says he appreciates Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka saying the Minnesota Senate will hold hearings to discuss possible police reform measures: "I would just caution about things being perfunctory and checking a box, rather than having an honest conversation about things that might work." Gazelka promised hearings within two weeks, but stressed the state budget must come first. When asked whether additional police reforms are necessary, Gazelka said "absolutely not" -- pointing to measures the legislature already passed after the death of George Floyd. Democratic Representative Cedric Frazier from New Hope says "anything short of passing [...]
It's a day off (FRI) in the Derek Chauvin trial before closing arguments are set to begin on Monday at 9am. Former U-S Attorney for Minnesota Tom Heffelgfinger says he's not surprised that Chauvin opted not to take the stand. "In this particular case, that's probably a wise decision because the evidence against him is quite strong and the cross-examination of the prosecution has been quite good throughout." Heffelfinger says Chauvin testifying would potentially be "a high-risk venture with rewards that may not warrant taking that risk."
In a week of turmoil, Minnesotans may be asking how they can shine some positivity into their own community. Dan Furry with the Salvation Army says one great outlet can be getting in contact with a local non-profit to ask what their needs are. "It's about what people can do to improve the lives of people who are struggling. Everybody can do something." Furry says many organizations, including the Salvation Army, simply need people willing to volunteer their time.
Governor Tim Walz says he does *not* expect to re-tighten COVID restrictions anytime soon, despite the increase in cases and hospitalizations in Minnesota: But the governor is also extending his emergency powers another 30 days -- certain to create more friction with Republicans as lawmakers try to agree on a new state budget before the mid-May deadline. Some Democrats are also pushing Republicans for additional police reforms in the wake of the officer killing of Daunte Wright. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka responds the budget is a "huge priority": Gazelka points out part of the state budget goes for [...]
Closed home sales ticked up in March as pending sales rose. Chris Galler is president of Minnesota Realtors: "Pending sales were up significantly 12-percent for the month of March. And that's amazing when you consider fewer homes for sale than were sold pending last month." Across Minnesota, there were only 7,738 homes for sale in March, compared to 17,124 in March 2020.
Governor Tim Walz is sending his personal sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright: "I think there's a lot of mothers out there that know that you shouldn't be able to worry about your son dying, going to wash the car. And now we have another name added to Philando, Jamar, George, and Daunte will now be added to that." The governor says there must be change, and is demanding the legislature hold hearings.
Morries Hall is expected to take the witness stand today. Hall was with George Floyd on the day Floyd died and plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Defense attorney Eric Nelson argued that if Hall does not offer testimony, his interview with investigators after Floyd's death should be admitted into evidence. Judge Pete Cahill however ruled... "None of the statements in the question and answer statement are admissible." The defense had also requested that the prosecution be compelled to explain why they did not offer Hall immunity to testify, but the judge ruled... "The request that the state [...]
Governor Tim Walz, prompted by the Brooklyn Center officer killing of Daunte Wright, is demanding the legislature "finally hold some hearings on some of these reforms": "Things that are supported by both law enforcement and community members, things that we know that would reduce the chance of a routine traffic stop escalating into a loss of life." Maple Grove Republican Warren Limmer, who chairs a key committee in the state Senate, says last summer lawmakers passed "monumental reforms with strong bipartisan support to hold police officers accountable." Limmer says those reforms are being implemented and police officers across Minnesota are receiving [...]
President Biden is calling for calm after the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright a Black man in Brooklyn Center. "Question is was it an accident, was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation." During a White House photo-op, Biden said he has not been in direct contact with Daunte's family: "I haven't called Daunte Wright's family but prayers are with their family, it's really a tragic thing." President Biden says peaceful protests are understandable, however: "There is absolutely no justification none for looting, no justification for violence" President Biden says the Black community is shaken: [...]
This week MN-DOT announced their slate of projects for the 2021 construction season, and with it a reminder to drives to stay aware of the cone zone. Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher says in the last six years work zone traffic crashes led to 49 deaths. "And more than 4900 people were injured. Please slow down, put the phone away, keep your eyes on the road and look out for our crews." Anderson-Kelliher says you can easily know what construction you may encounter on your route by using Minnesota 5-1-1 on your computer or smartphone before you hit the road.