MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — City, state and federal leaders held security briefings Monday to explain what they are planning before and during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged for the death of George Floyd.
They are calling their security plan “Operation Safety Net.”READ MORE: Mayor Frey Hears Community’s Concerns Leading Up To The Derek Chauvin Trial
“I’m a firm believer that you can never over communicate in matters such as this that impacts our city,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.
The public safety plan for the trial has four phases. It’s phase three, during closing arguments and the verdict, when you’ll see the most law enforcement presence.
During a Monday morning briefing, the city announced that they will not go forward with one part of their communication plan during the trial.
“We are not moving forward with the social media partners. And so we have stopped that,” said David Rubedor, director of neighborhood and community relations for Minneapolis.
The plan was to use what were being called social media influencers to get information out to the public. But some were concerned that the city would try to use them to sway public opinion.READ MORE: Protest Groups Plan To Demonstrate During Derek Chauvin Trial, Despite Barriers
The city said that was never the intent and agreed that the word “influencers” was a bad choice.
They said the main purpose was to communicate road and building closures and they will still do that on the city’s website and social media channels.
A security briefing in the afternoon involved law enforcement leaders at the city, state and federal level.
“We are going to use the information both to prevent bad things from happening and also to hold people accountable,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.
Harrington and others talked about the more than seven months of security planning and collaboration, with the goal of preserving peaceful protests while preventing crimes. As of now the FBI said there are no credible threats to the trial but leaders know that can change. Col. Matt Langer of the State Patrol said those concerned about added fencing around some buildings should know the purpose is to protect property and people.
“We ask that you remember what it was like in May and June. Remember the property destruction. Remember the violence. Remember the challenges that prevented people from coming and expressing their First Amendment rights,” said Langer. “If you are coming to peacefully protest, this group of people standing up here with me welcomes you and you have our support.”
Law enforcement partners said they are in constant communication and fully prepared for the trial.