Derek Chauvin's security for murder trial may cost $35M, will involve National Guard and 'hundreds of officers'
The proposed fund will be used by the local governments to help pay for emergency and security costs and some of it will be used to reimburse departments from outside the metro that deploys officers to the city
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has put across a proposal for a $35 million fund for extensive security plans around the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, a former police officer charged with murdering George Floyd. Floyd was allegedly being arrested for using a counterfeit bill when Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for upwards of nine minutes after he was handcuffed and lying face down.
Floyd had complained about being unable to breathe and another officer found no pulse minutes later, yet Chauvin refused to lift his knee until medics told him to. Chauvin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His trial is set to begin on March 8.
According to Axios, the $35 million fund will be used by the local governments to help pay for emergency and security costs and some of it will be used to reimburse departments from outside the metro that deploys officers to the city.
Walz tweeted on the situation, writing, "We know we can’t predict every public safety challenge that may arise, but we can and must be prepared to protect Minnesotans' safety. That’s why our budget includes aid for local governments, from Centerville to St. Paul, for expenses that arise from extraordinary events."
We know we can’t predict every public safety challenge that may arise, but we can and must be prepared to protect Minnesotans' safety. That’s why our budget includes aid for local governments, from Centerville to St. Paul, for expenses that arise from extraordinary events. https://t.co/skqgG5YNZ8— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) February 4, 2021
Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told the publication that he is working with local law enforcement chiefs across the state, as well as the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force "to prevent crime and to prevent disorder." The response will likely involve the National Guard and hundreds of officers from agencies across the state.
While Walz wants Minnesota Legislature to approve the finds, Legislative Republicans are reportedly concerned about asking the rest of the state to help Minneapolis and question whether the money will actually make a difference. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) said, "We are not going to bail out Minneapolis city council after they have made cuts to the public safety budget."
He also said at a press conference, "Actions to defund the police have consequences." H added that "too many communities did not get paid when they came to Minneapolis aid' throughout the summer." His spokeswoman said that the city still owes law enforcement agencies $137,000 for their assistance last summer.
To put the amount in perspective, Minnesota spent $24 million more than usual to respond to civil unrest in 2020, according to Star Tribune. Baltimore spent about $7.4 million during the 2016 trial of officers charged and acquitted in the death of Freddie Gray.
According to Axios, business and property owners are wrestling with how to proceed with security on their own. Property managers told the publication they will either not take any charges and board up their storefronts right away or hold off as long as possible to make downtown look welcoming.
Reportedly, the city is also considering talks of building a perimeter around the Hennepin County Government Center, according to Daily Mail.
Minnesota Senate Republicans also offered a counter-proposal to Walz's request and would require cities to pay for assistance provided by other local law enforcement agencies that send in personnel. Under the proposal, the state would divert money a city gets from the state's local government aid program to pay the bill if a city fails to reimburse those agencies for their help.