Minneapolis boards up and battens down

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Minneapolis boards up and battens down as it braces for serious unrest as Derek Chauvin’s trial enters its final phase amid rising tensions following drive-by shooting of two National Guardsmen

  • On Monday closing arguments will be heard in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin
  • Swathes of the city have been boarded up in anticipation of a contentious verdict and barriers erected
  • Under Operation Safety Net 3,000 National Guard and 1,100 public safety officers have been brought in
  • Public schools in the city will close their classrooms and return to remote tuition from Wednesday 
  • Some business owners in the city feel the militarization is excessive, but others welcome the show of force 

Minneapolis was transformed into a fortress over the weekend, as a tense city braced for a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin – the white police officer accused of murdering George Floyd – this week.

More than 3,000 members of the National Guard have been drafted into the city, in addition to 1,100 officers from public safety agencies across the state as part of what has been termed Operation Safety Net.

In the early hours of Sunday, two members of the National Guard were injured in a drive-by shooting.

There were no serious injuries, said Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, but he added that the incident ‘highlights the volatility and tension in our communities right now.’

A Monmouth University poll released on Thursday found that 63 per cent of Americans believe that acquittals across the board for Chauvin would be a negative step for race relations.

Thirty-seven per cent said that if he were found guilty of murder, it would be a positive step.