A City In Crisis Braces For the Worst

Scott has written about the trial of Derek Chauvin, in which jury selection is scheduled to start on Monday, and the fact that the Hennepin County Government Center has been turned into a bunker surrounded by barbed wire. This video shows what he was talking about:

Meanwhile, the city has sent a letter to local businesses advising them on preparing for the trial:

The City of Minneapolis is working with Hennepin County, the State of Minnesota, and Federal partners to have a coordinated safety plan during the trial and after the verdict, collectively known as Operation Safety Net. The goal of this effort is to preserve and protect first amendment non-violent protests and demonstrations, and to prevent large scale violent civil disturbances, property damage, and more. Business owners can expect to see law enforcement presence downtown and in commercial corridors throughout the city during the later stages of the trial.
Businesses and property owners may choose to take additional actions in preparation or during the trial. We recommend you consider overall emergency preparedness plans. Ready.gov has samples plans for businesses that can give you a sense of the questions to consider. During this time period you may also want to consider:

• Adding physical security measures, such as boarding or permanent security gates

What are “permanent security gates”? I don’t know. But if they are permanent, I take it they are not just for the Chauvin trial.

• Checking in with your insurance company and make sure your policy is up to date

• Uploading electronic copies of important documents and records to an online cloud service (for example: Dropbox, Google Drive) and/or bring physical copies to an off-site location

In other words, your shop or restaurant may be burned down. It seems a bit ironic: the FBI keeps trying to tell us that any day now, QAnon (or somebody on the right) is going to stage an “armed insurrection” in Washington. Of course nothing of the sort has happened, or will. But buildings have been burned down, businesses have been looted, people have been shot and killed and many other people’s lives have been devastated. Just not by conservatives.

The city’s letter also suggests that businesses consider hiring private security. Presumably this is due in part to the fact that in the wake of the Minneapolis’s City Council’s vote to seek to defund the police department, many officers have left and the force is now well below its former size.

One wonders how many businesses are left in downtown Minneapolis, and how many will be left a year from now.

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