Minneapolis City Council approves mutual aid, community outreach plans for Chauvin trial

The Minneapolis City Council approved plans for mutual aid from other law enforcement agencies and partnership with community groups for the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial. 

Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is charged with the murder of George Floyd. Ahead of the trial, city leaders have made detailed security plans in an effort to avoid possible rioting seen last summer after Floyd's death.

Friday, the council voted 11-2 to allow the Minneapolis Police Department to enter into mutual aid agreements with at least 14 law enforcement agencies, costing up to $1.5 million. The agreements would go into effect on March 1. Council members Jeremiah Ellison and Cam Gordon both dissented.

"Our hope is the number of days that we need these officers will be very short," said City Coordinator Mark Ruff during the council meeting. "That it will be a trial where there is peaceful expression of First Amendment rights and not destruction or other types of illegal activities that would require these officers to be around for numerous days."

Ruff said funding is expected to come from the state, but currently lawmakers are at an impasse over the trial security funding package.

The council voted unanimously to authorize contracts for up to nearly $1.2 million with community groups that will focus on deescalation and communication. This also includes paid partnerships with local social media influencers who can help dispel rumors.

According to Ruff, the city will put out a request for proposals starting next week. The city hopes to have contracts with community organizations finalized by the end of March.

Jury selection set to begin on March 8, with trial expected to start on March 29.

Both items are now headed to Mayor Jacob Frey's desk for approval.