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Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Anik Rahman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the killing of George Floyd is set to begin in just one week, and tension is palpable in many parts of the city.

What's happening: Barbed-wire fences, concrete barriers and plywood are fortifying city buildings and private towers downtown, as officials prepare for the possibility of large crowds and civil unrest.

  • Thousands of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers will be on hand to help with security.
  • Businesses are grappling with whether to board up or stay open.
  • Protesters are vowing to show up downtown to demand justice and more police accountability.
  • And organizers at 38th and Chicago are planning to create "space for grief, love and community-building" at the site of George Floyd's killing.

What you're saying: "Way more on edge than normal." "Anxious about civil unrest." "Very concerned that police/security presence will escalate the situation again." "Scared that justice won’t be served, but determined and ready to stand with my neighbors and raise my voice."

What's next: City staff will hold another briefing at 10 a.m. Monday to go over plans ahead of the March 8 start of jury selection. Watch here.

  • The Minnesota Court of Appeals, meanwhile, will hear oral arguments in the prosecution's request to reinstate third-degree murder charges ahead of the trial.

What you can do: Cassie Sawyer, a Twin Cities therapist who specializes in race-based trauma, has seen an influx in clients since May.

  • She recommends leaning on community, especially "people you feel safe with and that you trust," moving your body through walking, dancing or art, and tapping into spirituality or ancestral wisdom.
  • Sawyer's practice, Root to Crown Healing & Wellness, offers reduced rates to Black, Indigenous and people of color clients who suffer financial hardship.

Go deeper: Torey's dispatch from downtown in Axios Today.

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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Go deeper

Mar 1, 2021 - Podcasts

Preparing for the next disaster

The pandemic, the power grid failure in Texas, and other catastrophic failures from the past year have made it clear that many of the systems we rely on are unprepared for the worst.

  • Plus, how former President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be affecting Washington this week.
  • And, the mood in Minneapolis ahead of the murder trial of George Floyd.

Army officer lawsuit shines light on police treatment of Afro-Latinos

A screenshot from bodycam footage showing U.S. Army Lt. Caron Nazario during the traffic stop in December, when he was pepper-sprayed.

Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was threatened and pepper-sprayed during a traffic stop that is now under investigation by the Virginia attorney general's office for being “dangerous, unnecessary, unacceptable and avoidable.”

Why it matters: Nazario’s resulting lawsuit against the Windsor, Virginia, police department has brought attention to police treatment of Afro-Latinos, and the lack of data about it despite a growing reckoning over abuses from law enforcement.

26 mins ago - Health

Global COVID-19 death toll surpasses 3 million

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The global toll of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 3 million on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

By the numbers: The U.S. has seen more deaths (566,238) than any other country, followed by Brazil (368,749) and Mexico (211,693).