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Police Reform Is Just $1M Away

Plus the first major pot bust following legalization, crunching the 2023 election numbers, and St. Paul traffic woes in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Hell, What’s Another $1M?

Turns out that not killing the citizens you’re sworn to protect doesn’t come cheap. The city of Minneapolis is considering shelling out $1 million to an NYU group to help implement the public safety plan that the city had previously commissioned from a Harvard group. According to Mayor Frey and commissioner of public safety Todd Barnette, the group “has unique expertise in monitoring policing alternatives in a number of American cities, including San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago.” This, of course, follows last week’s announcement that the city had reached an agreement, pending City Council approval, to pay $18,000 cash incentives to officers to keep them from quitting and $15,000 bonuses to new hires. 

Big Pot Bust Follows Legalization

Over at the Minnesota Reformer, Max Nesterak reports on a real-life event that’d make a head-scratcher of a law exam question. In a cannabis raid this summer, the day after recreational marijuana was legalized in Minnesota, Mahnomen County sheriff’s deputies and White Earth tribal police seized seven pounds of weed and $3,000 from Todd Thompson’s tobacco shop. Thompson had neither a state permit to sell cannabis nor the consent of the tribal council. Still, as Nesterak puts it, “Charging a Native American man for selling weed without a license smacks of the old regime.” What makes the matter trickier is that under something called Public Law 280, the state will not be able to prosecute Thompson unless it can determine it has a criminal, rather than just a civil, case. And to make the matter even more complicated, Thompson is challenging Public Law 280 himself, saying it conflicts with tribal law. This question is worth 20 points.  

Maps! They Don’t Love You Like I Love You!

As we all know, the best thing about elections (aside from democracy and self-rule and the cool sticker and all that, I guess) is all the numbers we get to crunch afterward, and the maps we get to make. Today at MinnPost, Kyle Stokes follows up on the 2023 election with one of those great graphic-filled stories us stats wonks do love so. The story primarily breaks down how candidates backed by (the presumptuously named) establishment-supporting PAC All of Mpls and the progressive org Minneapolis for the Many did in each precinct. Looks like All of Mpls dumped a bunch of money into various races, and of all its square-offs with Minneapolis for the Many only pulled out a squeaker in Ward 8, where Andrea Jenkins scooched past Soren Stevenson to retain her seat. What does it all mean, beyond the fact that looking at maps is cool? That’s for you to find out!

Downtown St. Paul Closed for the Week

You don’t usually have to tell people not to go to downtown St. Paul—most of us avoid it on our own without any effort. Just teasing! We love St. Paul! That’s why we’re warning you about a major road closure that will be a pain to anyone on four wheels this week. The intersection of W. 7th Street & 5th Street, aka Cleveland Circle, will be shut down for a resurfacing project for the entire week, MnDOT says. This is the area by the northwest corner of the Xcel Energy Center, and it means anyone coming into downtown from I-94 will be screwed. The good news is, this should all be finished in time for the two Eagles concerts at the Xcel on Friday and Saturday. The bad news is, there are two Eagles concerts at the Xcel on Friday and Saturday.

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