National Guard, law enforcement to ‘gradually’ increase presence as Chauvin trial progresses

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Minneapolis city leaders held a news conference Thursday afternoon regarding what’s next for security measures as the Derek Chauvin trial progresses to the next stage.

Opening statements in the trial are set to begin Monday. Mayor Jacob Frey said the security measures will go into the second phase, with the number of Minnesota National Guard members and law enforcement "gradually" increasing.

"No neighborhood should feel violence amongst chaos," he said, adding that residents in the city and surrounding areas could see more of a security presence as the trial draws closer to a verdict. Chauvin faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, as well as a third-degree murder charge. Jury selection wrapped up on Tuesday.

"You will see an increased presence. It will be a combination of National Guard as well as law enforcement officers. That presence will reach capacity at a graduated scale as we get closer into verdict and deliberations," said Frey.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo updated the city on Operation Safety Net on Thursday. He said there have been no arrests or any reports of destruction of property or graffiti relating to the trial.

"We will start to see more of that [increased law enforcement] in our neighborhoods, whether that be Broadway Avenue, Lake Street, the mall downtown, so it will extend beyond just right now the Government Center and City Hall Plaza campus," said Arradondo.

David Rubedor, director of Neighborhood and Community Relations with the city of Minneapolis, said the city’s website has a trial information page up and running. He encouraged people to refer to that page throughout the trial and suggested residents follow the city’s Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-date information.

Rubedor also spoke about a radio show the city has, which can be listened to in four different languages: English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong. The radio show is updated weekly and features conversations on updated COVID-19 information, discussions on mental health, supporting youth and more.