9 hours ago

Axios Twin Cities

Good morning. The weather is gloomy today after another difficult night in the greater Twin Cities metro. Take care of yourselves.

Situational awareness: Expect to see more National Guard troops across the Twin Cities today, as officials plan to step up trial security even more following unrest that began in Brooklyn Center overnight. Read on for more.

🏒 Frozen out: In the most Minnesota sports thing ever, none of our state’s three teams in the NCAA Frozen Four won the NCAA championship, as UMass topped St. Cloud in the title game.

Today's newsletter is 995 words, a 4-minute read.

1 big thing: Protesters demand justice after police shoot man in Brooklyn Center

Protesters create a chalk circle that reads "Justice for Daunte Wright" in Brooklyn Center. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The fatal shooting of a Black man by police during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center sparked a night of unrest and renewed calls for police accountability.

  • A stand-off between law enforcement and protesters in the north metro suburb continued late into the night, as police in protective gear deployed tear gas after the crowd ignored orders to disperse outside the station.
  • The National Guard was later dispatched to the scene, amid clashes and looting.

What we know: Relatives identified the man as 20-year-old Daunte Wright, MPR News reports. They said he was going to get his car washed when he was pulled over just before 2 p.m.

  • Police said in a statement that an officer fired his weapon after the driver tried to re-enter his car during an attempt to take him into custody for an outstanding warrant.
  • The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating.

The big picture: The shooting of another Black man by Minnesota police rocked a community already on edge amid the Derek Chauvin trial.

  • Activists and community members reeled with grief over another fatality at the hands of police.
  • Unrest spread and quickly spilled into neighboring cities, with reports of looting and property damage in nearby Brooklyn Park and parts of Minneapolis.

What they're saying: Along with calls for justice, some said the shooting underscores the need for immediate action to reform policing.

  • "It is UNQUESTIONABLY time for police reform and accountability in MN. No one should die during a routine traffic stop," state Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul), tweeted.
  • ACLU of Minnesota, meanwhile called "for an immediate, transparent and independent investigation" and release of body camera footage.
  • Gov. Tim Walz tweeted he was monitoring the situation and praying for Wright's family "as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement."

The bottom line: Many questions remain about the circumstances that led to the fatal shooting. The answers — and actions — from city officials and law enforcement today will be closely watched.

More coverage.

2. As trial continues, activist elsewhere are "praying they get this right"

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Chauvin trial, now entering its third week, is reverberating far beyond a downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: Activists across the country are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served, our Axios Local colleagues report.

  • "I am praying they get this right," Kass Ottley, one of Charlotte, North Carolina's most prominent activists, told Axios. "Because if not, the reaction is going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before."

Flashback: Both Ottley and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Johnny Jennings said the Chauvin trial brings back memories of the 2015 mistrial of officer Randall "Wes" Kerrick, who shot an unarmed Black man named Jonathan Ferrell 10 times in 2013.

  • The city settled a civil suit with Ferrell’s family just two months before the trial, but a jury couldn’t come to a verdict on criminal charges.

Meanwhile, across Tampa Bay, organizers and activists felt anxious, hopeful and jaded.

  • "It's a tale as old as time," said Jae Passmore, who has been on the front lines of recent protests and was roughly arrested by Tampa police during a demonstration.
  • "From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner, I don't need to re-traumatize myself with the acknowledgment that this country doesn't care about Black life by watching this trial," activist Jae Passmore said.

Keep reading

3. Worries mount that A-Rod could move the Wolves

Alex Rodriguez may buy the Wolves, but he has no connections to Minnesota. Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

News that Glen Taylor could sell the Timberwolves and Lynx to former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore of Jet.com fame has fans worried the teams could end up in Seattle or Las Vegas.

That won't be the case, the long-time owner of the teams told the Star Tribune. "They will keep the team here. ... When we make up the contract we'll put that in there."

Yes, but: A legal expert told the paper last year that such a stipulation would be tricky to enforce.

  • The Wolves' lease at Target Center runs until 2035, but the cost to break it is a relatively paltry $50 million.

Context: The A-Rod-Lore negotiations peg the value of the franchise at $1.5 billion, The Athletic reported.

  • Taylor, already the second-richest person in Minnesota, bought the team in 1994 for $88 million.

Go deeper: For more in-depth Minnesota Timberwolves coverage and breaking news, subscribe to our partners at The Athletic.

4. Hiawatha golf plan dies, for now, on procedural snafu

A plan to redesign Hiawatha Golf Course has failed, for now. Photo: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

A plan to halve the Hiawatha golf course into nine holes seemed to pass on a Minneapolis Park Board vote last week, but an amendment killed the master plan for the land, at least for now.

What happened: Commissioners voted 4-2, with two abstentions and one absent, to redesign the course, which is both an ecological mess and an importance place for the Twin Cities' Black community.

  • An amendment to the resolution to rename the clubhouse after Solomon Hughes, who integrated the course, also passed.

Yes, but: Immediately after the vote, Commissioner Brad Bourn, who abstained, jumped in and said a name change to park property requires six votes.

  • Since the overall resolution only got four votes, the whole redesign plan failed.

What to watch: Park Board Commissioner Chris Meyer wrote in an email to Nick that "one way or another we will bring the plan back for a vote after the Chauvin trial concludes."

5. Catch up quick: Weekend links

Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

  1. Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan won a third term after a bruising leadership fight. (Twitter)
  2. The number of people shot in Minneapolis this year is already roughly double what it was at the same time in 2020. (Star Tribune)
  3. Gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen was banned from TikTok for allegedly violating the platform's misinformation policy. (Axios)
  4. West St. Paul says a resident's "Black Lives Matter" fence mural must go. (NYT)
6. Quote of the day: Advice from our oldest neighbor

Erna Zahn celebrating from afar last year, when she was a mere 112. Photo: Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via Getty Images

"I think I have good health because I always eat my breakfast."
— Erna Zahn, Minnesota's oldest living person.

🥧 The New Ulm resident, who eats oatmeal most mornings, plans to celebrate her 113th birthday with apple pie this Wednesday.

Read Zahn's story in the Star Tribune.

🚲 Here's a good reason to dust off those bikes, roller skates and running shoes:

  • Part of Lake Harriet Parkway and one lane of West River Parkway between 4th and 11th will close to car traffic to provide more space for recreation. Details here.