Good morning, and happy Monday. Thanks to Briana Bierschbach for filling in for me last week. Let’s take a look at the Digest.
1. Frey releases police body camera video in fatal shooting. Minneapolis police body-camera video released Sunday night shows officers repeatedly warning an armed Thurman Blevins to put his hands up as they chased him through a North Side residential neighborhood last month and then fatally shot him in an alley. The dramatic imagery, slowed down and stabilized by a California forensic video firm, shows the 31-year-old Blevins with a handgun and running from police. The video appears to show the gun in Blevins’ hand shortly before shots were fired. The release of the video so soon after the shooting comes as police departments in the Twin Cities and beyond cope with public backlash over the shooting of men of color during encounters with officers. In this and other shootings, activists have demanded rapid release of police body cam video, believing the images will reveal that officers are too quick to shoot suspects. (Star Tribune)
2. Meet the candidates for Congress in CD5. Voters in Minneapolis and neighboring suburbs will elect a new member of Congress this year. The 5th Congressional District seat has been in Democratic hands since 1963, which means the August DFL primary will likely decide who goes to Washington. Here’s an in-depth look at the candidates, why they’re running and the main issues they would focus on if they are elected. (MPR News)
3. DFL opponents weigh in on Nolan. Rep. Peggy Flanagan, who is running for lieutenant governor with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, and Rep. Erin Maye Quade, who is running with Rep. Erin Murphy, were asked about U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan during interviews on WCCO TV on Sunday. Nolan is the running mate of Lori Swanson. “We should all be troubled by Congressman Nolan’s behavior, and frankly I think he perpetuated this behavior in his office,” Flanagan said. “People who are seeking leadership in our state should not be promoted when they have allowed this behavior to continue,” Maye Quade said. Nolan was invited for a similar interview but declined. MinnPost recently published a story detailing Nolan’s support for a longtime legislative aide who is accused of sexually harassing multiple women in 2015 in Nolan’s Washington, D.C. office. The aide was let go by Nolan’s federal office, only to be rehired in 2016 by Nolan’s 8th Congressional District re-election campaign. Nolan expressed regret and resolve in the face of a controversy which has some calling for him to resign. “Absolutely not,” Nolan told the Duluth News Tribune Friday when asked if he would step down. (WCCO)
4. Candidates disagree over role of attorney general’s office. Should the state’s chief legal officer be a bulwark against policies emanating from Washington, or more narrowly focused on protecting consumers and advising state agencies? Many Democratic attorneys general are fighting President Donald Trump’s agenda in the courts, mimicking Republican counterparts who used their offices to resist President Barack Obama’s initiatives. But those in the packed field of Minnesota candidates disagree on how much attention the “people’s lawyer” should pay the Trump administration. (Star Tribune)
5. Solar panel plant to reopen. A Canadian company is restarting production in a once shuttered northern Minnesota solar panel manufacturing plant. Ontario-based Heliene Inc. has begun operations in a 25,000-square-foot factory in Mountain Iron, a city of nearly 3,000 people on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and it plans to hire 130 employees by September. The plant was previously occupied by the solar company Silicon Energy and will be retooled with the help of a $3.5 million state loan package. That local subsidy played a bigger role in its reopening than the Trump administration’s solar tariffs, which have a mixed effect. The Trump Administration’s solar tariffs have triggered an estimated $1 billion in new investments in U.S. solar manufacturing but at the same time led companies to cancel or freeze more than $2.5 billion worth of projects, Reuters reported last month. For Heliene, the impact is mixed. Because hardly any solar panel components are manufactured in the United States, the company will pay a 30 percent tariff this year on components from Asian and European companies, Heiliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk said. (AP )