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Officials in Minnesota can’t agree on who’s going to pick up the tab for beefed-up security at the upcoming murder trial in George Floyd’s police-custody death.
Gov. Tim Walz wants to use $35 million from a state emergency account to reimburse local governments for “unplanned or extraordinary public safety events” when ex-cop Derek Chauvin goes on trial next month, Fox News said.
But the Democratic governor is getting pushback from state GOP leaders, who are balking at losing statewide funds from their communities — particularly after police cuts in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death on May 25.
“We are not going to bail out (the) Minneapolis City Council after they have made cuts to the public safety budget,” state Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka told Fox. “Actions to defund the police have consequences.”
Chauvin and three other since-fired Minneapolis cops are charged in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin, 44, is seen on viral video pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly pleads, “I can’t breathe.”
Protesters raise their hands at the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd on June 4, 2020, in Minneapolis.AFP via Getty Images
The incident sparked global protests and violent demonstrations in the Minnesota city, launching a “defund the police” movement in the city which led to public safety cuts.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder in the case and the other three suspects — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Chauvin is due to go on trial separately on March 8.
Officials have security concerns for the trial due to the volatile nature of the case and threats against the ex-cop and the police department.
“We know we can’t predict every public safety challenge that may arise, but we can and must be prepared to protect Minnesotans’ safety,” Walz said on Twitter Wednesday.
“That’s why our budget includes aid for local governments, from Centerville to St. Paul, for expenses that arise from extraordinary events,” he wrote.
State officials said they are coordinating with the FBI and plan to have 200 additional law enforcement personnel from throughout the state in Minneapolis for the trial.