After several days with a 10 p.m. curfew in Minneapolis following the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a Brooklyn Center police officer, Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey are prepared to issue more curfew orders if civil unrest reaches a volatile level in response to the Derek Chauvin trial verdict.
Closing arguments in the trial wrapped up Monday afternoon, followed by jury deliberation from 4-8 p.m. The jury returned to the Hennepin County Government Center to continue deliberation at 8 a.m. Tuesday, so officials remain on verdict-watch as a decision could come at any moment.
As the jury deliberates, Walz and state officials are closely monitoring the potential for civil unrest. For now, no curfew orders are planned.
"At this time there's no statewide or region wide [curfew order], but we assess multiple times a day," he said. Mayor Frey echoed the governor's words. "We don't have a curfew right now," he continued, but said "it's certainly one of the tools that we will have if necessary."
The Twin Cities metro is currently occupied by thousands of National Guard soldiers, State Patrol officers, local police, conservation officers and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department,
"We cannot have people that seek to use peaceful protesters as cover to cause destruction in our city. That will not be tolerated. The planning that we've done and will be instituted over the coming days has been done to avoid confrontations," said Frey.
Frey said the military occupation in the Twin Cities "is temporary."
"We can't live like this. We simply can't. But we can't have thousands of businesses burn and people put at risk," Walz added. "Our goal is deescalation and non-confrontation at all chances. I've gotta trust the folks who are out there to make that judgement to not escalate, and to balance that of when we think we have a serious situation."
Calls for peace from state leaders come days after U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California) said that if there's no guilty verdict, "we cannot go away." Waters later told reporters that "we got to stay on the street, get more active, more confrontational."
Her words could be grounds for appeal in the event that Chauvin is found guilty, according to Judge Peter Cahill.
"I was cautioned time and time again to make sure from this platform to not influence the jury," Walz said. "I'm not going to tell people to be calm or not to be angry, I am going to tell them not to create violence."