As Minnesotans and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, top elected officials are pleading for calm, while pledging a stepped-up law enforcement presence will keep the peace if necessary.
Governor Tim Walz is asking the legislature for nine million dollars for extra security, but says lawmakers must also pass additional police reforms:
“We have to have that change. We can’t live like this. We cannot continue to live like this.”
Walz contends more police reforms are necessary and says to the legislature:
“Don’t find a reason you need to go home, don’t find a reason to adjourn, and don’t say it’s hard. ‘Hard’ is Katie Wright having to stand in front of the press, and the shame that all of us should feel to watch her talk about why her son died.”
Walz is requesting nine million dollars for extra security, but says lawmakers must also approve additional police reforms, plus other measures:
“If we can figure out a way to fund to get ready for this so that we don’t burn down our buildings, then we can find the money to fund summer school.”
The governor was asked, should President Biden address the nation after the Chauvin verdict is announced?
“I… would not be presumptuous enough to give the president of the United States advice, but I think it would be helpful.”
Walz says he hopes the president uses the authority of the White House and the compassion people have seen from him to address the nation and ask for calm.
Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter says more police reforms are badly needed, but…
“Like so many other local communities who are leaning into that work, our progress in Saint Paul is stifled by state and federal elected officials, who again and again block meaningful policy reform.”
Carter says there must be changes to how law enforcement handles traffic stops… cash bail must be eliminated… and qualified legal immunity for peace officers must end.
Carter decries not only police brutality but also violent demonstrations, saying:
“We can best stop protests over police killings of unarmed black men, by stopping police killings of unarmed black men.”
“As we renounce officers who… inflict bodily harm on black and brown bodies,… so too must we renounce those who bricks and stones at police.”
…and those who hurl unprovoked insults at teachers, plumbers, electricians and others who stand forward as National Guard members.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says those who exercise their lawful First Amendment rights will be protected, but…
“We cannot have people that seek to use peaceful protesters as cover to cause destruction in our city. That will not be tolerated.”
Frey says peace “must propel us forward to a better version of our city, to a better version of ourselves.”