City Updates from Neighborhood and Community Relations

Trial preparations articles

City offers web resource with trial information

A offers information and updates around the upcoming trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with the killing of George Floyd.

City information and links to partners in the new web section will help residents, businesses and others:

  • Find current street closures.
  • Sign up for trial updates from MN District Court.
  • Report suspicious activity.
  • Look up mental health and well-being resources for support during traumatic times.

They can also explore ways to prepare and stay informed, learn about security preparations and updates during the trial, follow impacts to traffic and transportation, and find public data on the officers involved.

The web pages will be updated as new information becomes available and as situations change.

Ways to stay connected with City news and trial-related developments

There are many ways to stay up to date on City news and trial-related developments.

Sign up for updates from the Minnesota Judicial Branch on the State of MN vs. Chauvin case

Everyone is invited to sign up for updates on the State of MN vs. Chauvin case from the Minnesota Judicial Branch webpage.

The webpage includes all public documents filed in the case and other information. This case was filed in Hennepin County District Court May 29, 2020.

Resources and emergency preparation information

The City of Minneapolis has compiled resources of interest on several subjects.

City reaches $27 million settlement agreement in civil lawsuit filed by George Floyd’s family

The City has reached a settlement in the civil lawsuit filed by George Floyd’s family against the City of Minneapolis. The City Council unanimously voted today to approve the settlement in an action that will be signed by Mayor Frey. The $27 million settlement includes a $500,000 contribution from the George Floyd family to the community at 38th and Chicago.

The killing of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, 2020 has forever transformed Minneapolis and sparked a racial reckoning around the world. The settlement in this civil lawsuit is independent and separate from the criminal trial underway. Jury selection for the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin started March 8. The other former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 23.  

“I cannot begin to thank the Floyd family enough for their strength and courage to use their voices to push us all to do better in our collective work in honoring their brother, father, and son. Amid unprecedented loss and pain, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity before us to effectuate change that has eluded policymakers, advocates, and community calls for far, far too long,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “We need to be unrelenting and unapologetic in our pursuit of a more equitable local government and more just approach to community safety and policing. And we will be.”

“On behalf of the entire City Council, I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd,” said City Council President Lisa Bender. “No amount of money can ever address the intense pain and trauma caused by his death to George Floyd’s family and to the people of our city. Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning. The Minneapolis City Council is united in working together with our community and the Floyd family to equitably reshape Minneapolis.” 

City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins expressed appreciation for the Floyd family’s gift to the 38th & Chicago community.

“The settlement agreement the City Council approved today includes a $500,000 contribution from the Floyd family to our 38th and Chicago community,” Jenkins said. “As the trial of Derek Chauvin progresses, I want to call for peace and for calm in our streets. Regardless of the outcome of the trial now underway, the City, the Council, the Mayor, department staff – we are all committed to seeking justice in all forms. We cannot control the actions of the past. But we do have control over our actions in the days, weeks and years to come and how we move forward together, to begin the healing process. Transformational healing. Today is where this begins. And the Floyd family has shown us the way.” Read this article on news.minneapolismn.gov. 

City leaders provide briefing as jury selection for Chauvin trial underway

Mayor Jacob Frey and other City leaders held another media briefing March 11 to share updates as the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin is now underway. Jury selection for the Chauvin trial began March 8.

Briefing highlights

  • Mayor Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo commended people who have participated in peaceful demonstrations as the trial gets underway.
  • The City has a new web resource with information and updates around the Chauvin trial. It includes information on finding street closures, how to sign up for trial updates from Hennepin County District Court, ways to report suspicious activity and information about mental health and well-being resources for support during traumatic times.
  • The City’s Neighborhood & Community Relations Department has launched weekly online meetings with the city’s neighborhood organizations to share information during the trial. The goal is to create a forum for two-way communication with the City and share information and resources.

Reminders 

  • The City’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) plans to fund a network of community-based groups that can be activated during periods of heightened tension during the remainder of 2021, including during the trials of the former officers involved in the killing of George Floyd. The office has issued a request for applications for the community groups.
  • How to contact the City:
    • Call 311 for non-emergency City information.
    • Call 911 for life safety emergencies requiring police, fire, or EMS.
    • Call the MPD Tips Line – 612-692-TIPS (8477) to report suspicious activity not requiring an immediate response.
    • Businesses and property owners can call 612-673-2499 with questions about advanced preparation before the trial, business operations during the trial and general information about regulations and resources.
  • Sixth Street South (the street and both sidewalks) is closed between Third and Fourth avenues next to the Hennepin County Government Center. Currently, other streets will remain open. The City will provide updates when other closures are anticipated. 
  • The City has sent out surveys to residents and businesses near 38th and Chicago to determine a preferred option to preserve the memorial and art while ensuring delivery of critical services in the area. The deadline to respond to the survey is March 15. Learn more.
  • Follow the City of Minneapolis on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for the City Update newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news and information. Stay tuned to news from Operation Safety Net on Facebook and Twitter.

Operation Safety Net leaders share update as Chauvin trial begins with jury selection

Law enforcement officials with Operation Safety Net held a news conference March 8, the first day of jury selection in the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with the killing of George Floyd. 

Operation Safety Net is a coordinated effort among local and state law enforcement agencies focused on public safety during the Chauvin trial. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other law enforcement leaders commended protesters who have participated in peaceful demonstrations as the trial gets underway. 

Watch the briefing

Learn more about Operation Safety Net

Hennepin County Government Center services relocating during Chauvin trial; pandemic service changes continue

Hennepin County remains committed to providing services to residents during the ongoing pandemic and during the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with the killing of George Floyd. Many county services continue to be offered online, by phone and in person by appointment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hennepin County’s role in the trial is to ensure that the Fourth Judicial District Court can conduct business in a safe and effective manner. To do that, it is necessary to restrict access to the Government Center to court-related services and implement additional security measures inside and outside the building

Access to the Government Center will be restricted to the operations of District Court for the duration of the trial. The Government Center Parking Ramp will also be closed to the public. 

Learn more.

Updates about community safety and 38th and Chicago area

Updates on transforming community safety

The City of Minneapolis is committed to a goal of safety for everyone in Minneapolis. On June 12, 2020, the City Council passed a resolution committing to creating a transformative new model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.

Since then, internal work groups and key stakeholders have been exploring ways to develop an integrated community safety response that works for everyone.

Three pillars of community safety

The City’s realignment to provide a holistic community safety response will take place in phases over time with much staff, partner and community participation. It focuses on three main areas:

  • A public-health-oriented response for preventing violence.
  • Alternatives to police response for 911 calls.
  • Reforming law enforcement policies, protocols and practices.

Some of the work in progress includes:

  • Minneapolis’ crime prevention specialists (CPS) now report to the Neighborhood & Community Relations Department instead of the Police Department. The change reflects the crime prevention specialists’ roles in community engagement. Nothing will change as far as work location, scope of work, job titles and programs offered to the community without further planning and engagement.
  • If you have a mental health crisis in Minneapolis, you can continue to call 911 or the Cope mobile crisis team in Hennepin County: 612-596-1223 (for adults in Hennepin County) and 612-348-2233 (for children 17 and under). In 2021, two mental health teams will be available 24/7 for crisis calls. This means police may not provide the primary response for a mental health crisis call or police may still respond if the mental health teams are both on current calls.
  • To report theft of property damage, you can call 311, 911 or submit an online report. As part of a pilot this year, City employees (non-sworn officers) will take theft and property damage reports from residents. 

Stay up to date

Stay updated on this work by visiting the City’s community safety webpage where you can see updated information on the three focus areas, key milestones and information presented to the community in an earlier presentation. Watch for more presentation recordings to be added and more presentations to be scheduled. You can also share your thoughts about what community safety looks like to you. Information will also be shared out over a variety of channels in many languages.

Staff will present regular community safety updates at City Council meetings. The first was a Health Department presentation on the first phase of engagement around public-health-oriented violence prevention. This presentation included a summary of the first phase of the online survey, stakeholder interviews and focus groups. Staff from the City Coordinator’s Office also provided an update on the alternatives to police response work rolling out this year. Watch the Jan. 21 presentation to the Public Health & Safety Committee on the City’s website.

City moves forward on new mobile behavioral health crisis teams

The City of Minneapolis is moving forward on a pilot project that will serve as an alternative to police response to support people experiencing a crisis. This pilot project will send an unarmed, highly trained and empathetic team to properly assess their needs and provide appropriate care or support while avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and criminalization. Behavioral health response teams will include behavioral health providers and may include emergency medical technicians or emergency medical services.

The City has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for mobile behavioral health crisis teams with a deadline to send a proposal of March 31.

This pilot project is part of the City’s transforming community safety work. The City’s realignment to provide a holistic community safety response will take place in phases over time with much staff, partner and community participation. It focuses on three main areas: a public-health-oriented response for preventing violence; alternatives to police response for 911 calls; and reforming law enforcement policies, protocols and practices.

Learn more about this work on the City’s website.

City leaders present united plan and next steps for 38th and Chicago

The City of Minneapolis is committed to working with the community to reconnect 38th and Chicago after the conclusion of the Derek Chauvin trial. City leadership’s overriding goals will be to support the needs of residents and businesses while honoring the importance of racial healing and reflection in this sacred space.

Prior to reconnection, the City will continue to work toward its long-term commitments advancing racial justice while providing enhanced core City services and engagement opportunities for residents and businesses in the 38th and Chicago area.

Highlights of enhanced City services, access and partnerships include:

  • The City’s Department of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) is doubling down on youth employment and training pathway opportunities by working alongside Summit Academy OIC, Project for Pride and Living and other potential partners on culturally specific, dedicated outreach and workforce development programs to help young people at the intersection pursue new career paths, including green workforce and technology sector jobs.
  • Public Works is providing enhanced services including extra solid waste and recycling collection at the George Floyd memorial and installing temporary traffic calming measures.
  • The Minneapolis Police and Fire departments continue to respond to calls for service.
  • The Office of Violence Prevention and Neighborhood & Community Relations staff will work with community stakeholders on developing engagement and outreach activities for residents to promote public safety and healing.

Design options

Public Works has been in close contact with community partners to determine two options for 38th and Chicago that preserve space for the memorial and art while ensuring delivery of critical services for the area, including much needed public transit. Both options provide two-way traffic operations in all directions to improve business and residential access and to provide the opportunity to restore transit service on Chicago Avenue and 38th Street.

The City has sent a survey to area residents and businesses to determine the preferred option.

City’s long-term commitments

The City has pledged more than $10.5 million in funding that is eligible for supporting racial healing in the 38th and Chicago area, and has committed to several important initiatives to advance racial justice, including adopting a truth and reconciliation process with the ultimate objective of implementing specific solutions to specific harms that have created and perpetuate racial disparities.

City funding also includes $150,000 for the Creative City Making program to hire a diverse team of artists and healers to create, implement, and lead community engagement processes to guide the City’s community healing and rebuild with racial equity efforts for areas most impacted by civil unrest.

Read more.

COVID-19 news articles

Apply for emergency rent assistance from Hennepin County

Hennepin County is offering emergency rent assistance. Households with unpaid rent and low incomes may qualify. The deadline to apply is noon Friday, March 19. Apply now.

While you can’t be evicted for not paying rent during Gov. Walz’s executive order, rent is still due. When the order is lifted, people owing unpaid rent could be at risk for eviction. 

This is an initial short-term program for urgent needs. More help will be offered through a statewide COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance program opening later this month.

Free COVID-19 tests detect the virus even as variants

The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 saliva tests. Testing is encouraged and available to everyone, whether or not you have symptoms. It’s one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent exposing your loved ones to the virus along with wearing masks correctly, keeping 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with and hand-washing.

Do not eat, drink or use tobacco products for 30 minutes before taking a COVID-19 saliva test.

Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center, 1250 West Broadway
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, March 13 and 20

Columbia Manor Golf Course, 3300 Central Ave. NE
4-7 p.m. Thursdays, March 18 and 25

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, 1301 10th Ave. N.
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 27

You can expect to get your test results in about two business days.

More free COVID-19 saliva tests

Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends
Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register. 

Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave.
2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.

Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St.
2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment.
You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days.
Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.

Brooklyn Park Starlight Center
11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends.
Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register. 

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week.
Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register. 

At home
The State is also offering free at-home saliva tests. Any person in Minnesota can order a saliva test kit from the COVID-19 Test at Home program.

Find a current list of free COVID-19 tests on the City website.

If you can’t attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: An image “vaccine updates” is attached to use with the following story.]

Gov. Walz expands vaccine eligibility as State reaches goal of 70% of seniors vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz announced March 9 that Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility as the State reaches its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years of age and older. The announcement comes several weeks ahead of schedule after the State moved quickly to use more vaccine from the federal government.

As a result, the State expanded eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans at once as of March 10. Providers have been directed to prioritize people in the first of these phases, which includes Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions, food processing plant workers, and Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness. Providers will then have the flexibility to provide available appointments to other eligible Minnesotans.

More than 1.8 million Minnesotans become eligible to receive a vaccine:

  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: sickle cell disease; Down syndrome; those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplants, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD and CHF).
  • Targeted essential workers: food processing plant workers.
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness.
  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC.
  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions.
  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing.
  • Essential frontline workers in agriculture, airport, child care (those not previously eligible), correctional settings, first response, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system, manufacturing, public health, public transit and the U.S. Postal Service.

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability.

Learn more about the State’s vaccine distribution plan.

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