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US cities beef up security ahead of Chauvin verdict

The Hill logo The Hill 4/18/2021 Sarah Polus
a man looking at the camera: US cities beef up security ahead of Chauvin verdict © Getty Images US cities beef up security ahead of Chauvin verdict

Minneapolis and other cities around the U.S., are ramping up security in preparation for the end of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial, according to a report from CNN.

The highly-publicized trial is coming to an end in the wake of the police killing of Daunte Wright, a young Black man who was killed in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Sunday, just miles away from where George Floyd died.

Chauvin has been charged in the death of Floyd after kneeling on his neck for several minutes in May of 2020. During that time, Floyd became unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a local hospital later that day.

Closing arguments in Chauvin's murder trial are slated to take place Monday.

The city of Minneapolis is moving public schools to virtual learning beginning Wednesday, according to a letter from the school district's Superintendent Ed Graff.

Additionally, athletic and after school events are being cancelled through the week, CNN notes.

"We anticipate that a verdict in the Chauvin case could impact in-person learning in Minneapolis Public Schools," Graff said in a Friday statement posted on the school district's website.

It continues, "Peaceful protests are one of the foundations of our democracy. Some students may feel called to participate in collective actions being organized around the city, but MPS also recognizes our primary need and your primary desire to keep students safe."

In downtown Minneapolis, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis National Guard confirmed to The Hill that 3,000 Guardsmen are being deployed.

In addition, razor wire is being installed around police buildings, according to CNN.

"We are prepared to flex that number as needed to support civil authorizes," Scott Hawks, state public affairs officer of the Minnesota National Guard, said.

He added, "We're here to protect people, freedom of speech and property."

Similar measures are underway in other cities, including in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta and New York, where police presence will be increased.

"We're in constant, literally daily conversations," Mayor Bill de Blasio said, according to CNN. "Obviously, so much will happen based on what the verdict is and how it's expressed."

Already, protests across major U.S. cities have taken place to protest Wright's death. About 100 people were arrested in Brooklyn Center during the sixth straight night of protests.

Demonstrations also took place in D.C., where protestors gathered for a rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The Hill has reached out to the mayors' offices of New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., for comment.

Updated 7:31 p.m.

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