The Minneapolis courthouse that will feature the trial connected to George Floyd, who died while in police custody on May 25, 2020, has been “turned into a veritable fortress,” the New York Post reported.
Jury selection will begin on March 8 for the trial, where ex-police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murdering Floyd. The Post reported that Hennepin County District Court has been “ringed with concrete barriers, security fencing, and barbed wire.” This is in addition to increased security in the area, including “Minneapolis police, Hennepin County sheriff’s deputies, Minnesota state troopers, and the National Guard,” the Post previously reported.
“We are not going to be caught flat-footed,” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told KTTC-TV earlier this month.
The Post reported that Minneapolis authorities “have been hatching security plans for the trial since July, when outrage over Floyd’s death on May 25 while in police custody sparked massive protests worldwide.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, sought to assure residents, saying “There’s going to be very high emotion on all sides of this, and we’ll be prepared.”
More from the Post:
Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey came under fire in the wake of Floyd’s police-custody death on May 25, when they were unable to quell protesters who clashed with police, set fires, and looted parts of the city.
Chauvin is charged with killing Floyd be pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes despite his repeated pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd became a rallying cry against police brutality worldwide.
Frey said as many as 3,000 law enforcement personnel could be deployed — including city, county and state police — before the case goes to a jury.
The “rallying cry against police brutality” resulted in numerous deaths, including of retired police captain David Dorn, and cost a reported billions in damage to personal and city property.
And it’s not just the courthouse that’s being prepared for any unrest — the city jail and nearby City Hall are also being reinforced with fencing, barbed wire and barriers.
In addition to increased security, the city of Minneapolis is also hiring “social media influencers” to combat “misinformation” during Chauvin’s trial, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti previously reported:
“The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously approved paying six social media influencers to spread city-approved messaging and updates throughout the upcoming murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged in George Floyd’s death. On Friday, the council approved $1,181,500 for communication with the community during the trial,” according to CBS.
Just $12,000 of that money will go to paying influencers during Chauvin’s trial. The rest will go to seed a long-term community engagement program that facilitates communication between city officials and community leaders and creates an information pipeline “can be activated during periods of heightened tension.”