Preparations for Derek Chauvin trial underway in Minneapolis

People will see "fortification" efforts and National Guard soldiers.
Author:
Publish date:

Barricades are going up and the Minnesota National Guard members will be in Minneapolis ahead of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial. 

At a news conference Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey stressed that the city is open for business and people should go about their day as usual, "but that doesn't mean there won't be changes in how we operate over the coming weeks and months."

The news conference comes amid the creation of Operation Safety Net, which is a team of local and state law enforcement officials that will work together to prevent civil unrest while allowing non-violent protests and demonstrations during Chauvin's trial in the killing of George Floyd, which is set to begin March 8. 

The trial for the other three officers involved in Floyd's death is scheduled for August.

Officials said Wednesday residents and those who visit Minneapolis can expect to see more law enforcement officers and Minnesota National Guard members, especially in areas that were damaged last summer following the unrest after Floyd's death.

Over the next few days, the city will begin installing "fortifications" around key infrastructure and police precincts, officials said. And National Guard soldiers will be working downtown to test radio systems ahead of the trial, which is standard, Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Erick Fors said Wednesday.

Helping businesses

Fors on Wednesday stressed Operation Safety Net's commitment to deploying additional law enforcement officers to business areas of the city, especially those that were hit hardest during the civil unrest following George Floyd's death, in an effort to deter destruction. 

Meanwhile, the city is not encouraging businesses to pre-emptively board up, but is providing resources in case they choose to do so. 

City officials do recommend that businesses develop preparedness plans (Ready.gov has guidance) and they can contact the city (612-673-2499 or SmallBusiness@minneapolismn.gov) with any questions they have about preparing for the trial. 

Road closures, public transit disruptions

Disruptions to traffic in downtown Minneapolis will begin next week near the Hennepin County Government Center. On March 1, the city will shut down Sixth Street South (the street and sidewalks) between Third and Fourth avenues. 

Additional street closures are expected, with the city saying it will communicate that later. 

Meanwhile, Metro Transit is working on identifying plans in case there are disruptions to service. Detour around the Hennepin County Government Center are expected as the trial progresses and as the verdict approaches. 

Activating community groups

The City of Minneapolis' Office of Violence Prevention plans to fund a network of community groups that can be "activated" during "periods of heightened tension during the remainder of 2021," such as the trials of the officers involved in Floyd's death. 

The City Council's Policy and Government Oversight Committee on Wednesday afternoon is reviewing the request for the application process for the community groups.

38th and Chicago 

The City of Minneapolis plans to reopen George Floyd Square at 38th and Chicago, which is where Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin's trial.

On Wednesday, the city said it is sending out surveys to residents and businesses in the area to "determine a preferred option to preserve the memorial and art wile ensuring delivery of critical services in the area."

The City says it and Operation Safety Net will continue to provide updates about safety related to the Chauvin trial in the days and weeks to come. 

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz criticized for comments on 'thoughtful' use of tear gas

The governor is under fire for comments he made Tuesday as protests continue over the police killing of Daunte Wright.

Andrelton Simmons

Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons placed on COVID-19 list

Simmons is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.53.07 PM

Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Potter was a 26-year veteran officer before she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.

Related

richard zimmerman - chauvin trial

Derek Chauvin trial: MPD lieutenant says Chauvin's use of force 'totally unnecessary'

"If your knee is on a person's neck, that could kill them," the lieutenant said, citing officers are not trained to kneel on someone's neck.

chauvin trial day 4

Derek Chauvin trial: Here's who is on the jury

Opening statements for the trial, is expected to last 2-4 weeks, are set for Monday.

chauvin courtroom

Everything you need to know as Derek Chauvin's trial is set to begin

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday, but could be delayed.

George Floyd

51 arrested in Minneapolis protests after Chauvin is released from prison

The former officer charged in George Floyd's death posted bond Wednesday and was released, prompting the largely peaceful protests in Minneapolis.

derek chauvin trial

What to expect as opening statements begin in Derek Chauvin's trial

Chauvin faces three charges in connection to George Floyd's death last summer.

hennepin county government center fencing minneapolis chauvin

Minneapolis, Hennepin County spending $1M on barricades, fencing for Chauvin trial

Minneapolis hopes to be reimbursed for fortification costs by the state if it passes the proposed SAFE Account.

Chauvin trial - Jena Scurry

Derek Chauvin trial: 'Something was not right' during arrest, 911 dispatcher says

She testified that after seeing the arrest of Floyd she called the police on the police.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Chauvin will be tried separately in George Floyd's death

Chauvin's trial will begin March 8. The trial of the other former offices will begin in August.