Feb 18, 2021 - News

What we know about Minneapolis' security plans for Derek Chauvin's trial

Picture of Minneapolis City Hall surrounded by barricades

Minneapolis City Hall. Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

Fencing and barricades are already rising downtown ahead of next month's trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Department officer charged with the killing of George Floyd.

Driving the news: City leaders previewed security plans yesterday in what they billed as the first in a series of regular updates to the public.

Why it matters: Officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of last summer, when civil unrest over Floyd's killing led to days of turmoil, community trauma and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to public and private property.

What to expect: Lots of law enforcement and some detours and disruptions to regular service downtown.

  • Up to 2,000 National Guard and 1,100 law enforcement officials from 12 jurisdictions, including MPD, will be on hand. Minneapolis Fire Department will also have back-up support.
  • Beginning March 1, Sixth Street South will be closed between Third and Fourth avenues. Light rail trains will run as scheduled.
  • Access to some government buildings, as well as skyways, will be restricted.

Mayor Jacob Frey said he has no specific plans to issue a citywide curfew, but that officials are "leaving that option on the table" if needed.

  • Communication with the public, including community activists and others involved in peaceful protests, will be a priority throughout the trial, leaders said.

What's next: Jury selection begins March 8. Opening arguments are slated for March 29 and the trial could wrap by late April.

Of note: The security ramp up is already getting heat from at least one local lawmaker.

  • "This is not how you demonstrate care for a city traumatized by police violence. Council did not approve this plan and I certainly don't personally approve of it," City Council member Jeremiah Ellison tweeted of the fencing.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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