Minneapolis To Beef Up Security For Trial In Floyd’s Death

Feb 17, 2021, 5:56 PM
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addresses the media on Feb. 17, 2021. (CNN pool via WCCO)...
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addresses the media on Feb. 17, 2021. (CNN pool via WCCO)
(CNN pool via WCCO)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — National Guard troops and hundreds of law enforcement officers will converge on the Minneapolis area during the upcoming trial of the former police officer charged in George Floyd’s death, and authorities said Wednesday they hope months of planning will help prevent a repeat of last year’s violent unrest.

Leaders from Minneapolis and local and state law enforcement agencies have been beefing up security plans, preparing to close streets and making sure businesses and residents are well informed as the trial of Derek Chauvin approaches. Mayor Jacob Frey said the trial will likely increase trauma for many, especially as the verdict draws near, and that safety will be a top priority “during this very difficult time in our city.”

“We believe it is on us to honor the magnitude of this moment and ensure that our families in this city feel safe,” Frey said.

State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said authorities will be working to protect everyone’s rights to peacefully protest while also ensuring that businesses, government buildings and infrastructure are protected. Law enforcement will use quick reaction teams, bicycle rapid response officers, SWAT officers and other tactics to respond quickly to emergencies. Protests on freeways or unlawful behavior such as throwing objects, using illegal fireworks, setting fires or damaging property will not be tolerated, Langer said.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and days of violent unrest in which buildings — including a police station — were burned and damaged.

Chauvin, who was fired, is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Jury selection in his trial is scheduled to begin March 8; opening statements are scheduled for March 29.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said his deputies will ensure the courthouse is protected and the trial is not disrupted.

“We want to protect everybody’s rights, but if you cause harm, if you break things, burn things, hurt people, hurt people’s livelihood, I’m here to say: You will go to jail. We will arrest everybody who breaks the law,” Hutchinson said. “We are not going to tolerate disorder.”

The city has already started installing a security perimeter around the Hennepin County Government Center, City Hall and nearby buildings. The street and sidewalk in front of the courthouse will be closed starting March 1.

The intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, which has become a memorial to Floyd and a community gathering place, will remain closed to vehicle traffic until after the trial.

Frey said a law enforcement presence in the city will increase in coming weeks, and will peak during the trial, with the help of up to 2,000 National Guard members and 1,100 law enforcement officers from 12 agencies. Langer said the bulk of law enforcement resources will be present surrounding closing arguments, jury deliberations and announcement of a verdict.

Erik Hansen, the city’s director of Economic Policy and Development, said the city is advising business owners to consider emergency preparedness plans, add physical barriers such as boards over windows or security gates, make sure their insurance policies are up to date, and upload important records online.

Authorities have no current “actionable” intelligence suggesting that specific groups may be coming to Minneapolis to stir up trouble, said Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. He said authorities are taking what has been learned from past protests in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Ferguson, Missouri and they believe their preparation and united approach can prevent bad things from happening and ensure people’s voices are heard.

He said that last year, “In midst of the riots, in the midst of the fires, in the midst of all that — people’s voices who really want to call out the death of George Floyd could not be heard over the vitriol and over the activity of folks that were there to destroy property and to hurt other people.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Aerial view of fissure 3 eruption lava channel on the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa the morning ...
Audrey McAvoy and Haven Daley, Associated Press

Molten lava on Hawaii’s Big Island could block main highway

Many people on the Big Island of Hawaii are bracing for major upheaval if lava from Mauna Loa volcano blocks the quickest route connecting two sides of the island.
9 hours ago
Letters from surviving roommates were read at a church memorial service for slain University of Ida...
Michelle Watson and Chris Boyette, CNN

Letters from surviving roommates read at church memorial service for slain University of Idaho students

At a memorial service for four University of Idaho students who were found stabbed to death last month, a pastor from an Idaho church read aloud letters from the surviving roommates, recalling their memories of their friends and sharing their sadness.
9 hours ago
This photo shows the gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, N.C. on Sunday, D...
Hannah Schoenbaum, Associated Press/Report for America

Power outages could last days after shootings at substations

Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act.
9 hours ago
FILE: In this photo illustration, A Ticketmaster ticket is shown on a cellphone on November 18, 202...
Ramishah Maruf, CNN

More than two dozen Taylor Swift fans sue Ticketmaster

More than two dozen Taylor Swift fans are suing Ticketmaster parent Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. for "unlawful conduct" in the pop star's chaotic tour sale.
9 hours ago
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 10: Sesame Street cast member and film subject Bob McGrath attends a ...
Associated Press

Bob McGrath, ‘Sesame Street’ legend, dies at 90

Actor, musician and children’s author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children’s show “Sesame Street,” Bob McGrath, has died at the age of 90.
1 day ago
Gate to the Duke Energy West End substation in Moore County, North Carolina, on Dec. 4, 2022. (John...
Nicole Grether, Gloria Pazmino and Tina Burnside, CNN

Gunfire at power substation cause North Carolina outages

Two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what is being investigated as a criminal act.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Minneapolis To Beef Up Security For Trial In Floyd’s Death