The verdict in one of the most closely watched police brutality trials in decades could fall next week if metropolitan Minneapolis and other cities are hit by police deaths, including the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by an officer in downtown Brooklyn last Weekend just miles from the courthouse. Chicago has been nervous this week since authorities released body-worn camera footage showing an officer firing a single shot that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was holding a handgun that he ended up with at the end of one Chase apparently had thrown away. according to the police.
A nationwide reckoning of policing and systemic racial injustice rekindled by Floyd’s death last summer sparked new, sometimes violent, protests this week.
Minneapolis public schools will switch to distance learning starting Wednesday pending a court ruling, according to a letter from Superintendent Ed Graff to students and parents.
Final arguments will come on Monday in the trial of the former officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds last May. Chauvin, 45, has pleaded guilty of unintentional second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
Graff said all students will do distance learning Wednesday through the end of the week. Sports events and pre- and post-school childcare do not take place.
“The racism and violence highlighted in these tragic incidents may be widely discussed among some students in our schools,” Graff said in the letter posted on the school system’s website.
“When it is appropriate and convenient for them, teachers give students an opportunity to process their feelings, how it feels to them personally, and how they are affected by the world’s eyes on Minneapolis.”
Crews were seen installing barbed wire around a police building this week in downtown Minneapolis, where the segregated jury is deliberating. Similar measures have been taken in other police stations, according to Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder.
National Guard troops were stationed in parts of downtown Minneapolis.
Mayor Jacob Frey said ahead of the trial that up to 2,000 members of the National Guard will be ready to respond, along with up to 1,100 law enforcement agencies from 12 other jurisdictions.
The Hennepin County Government Center has been surrounded by fences and barricades since the jury selection began last month.
Other US cities are preparing for judgment and protests
In Los Angeles, according to Capt. Stacy Spell stepped up public relations efforts and planned to provide additional officers.
“We also strongly encourage those who want to express themselves to see something, to say something,” he said. “We don’t want small groups of malicious people to kidnap an otherwise peaceful demonstration.”
In San Francisco, police said the officers’ days off have been canceled and additional officers will be deployed.
The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that it is coordinating efforts with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and has officials ready to respond quickly.
In New York City, police were preparing to protest.
“We are in constant, literally daily, talks,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Of course, so much will happen depending on what the judgment is and how it is expressed.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the city has seen an average of 10 to 20 protests a day since last year. “It never really ends,” he told radio station 1010 WINS on Wednesday.
“We’re just asking anyone who may raise concerns about this process to just work together, make it peaceful, no property damage, and we’ll see through anything,” Shea said.
The Philadelphia Police Department said it was “prepared with additional personnel to secure and patrol strategic locations.”
According to spokesman Hugh Carew, the Metropolitan Police Department in the country’s capital will be “fully activated with members in 12-hour shifts from Monday”.
CNN’s Josh Campbell, Dan Przygoda, Hollie Silverman, Christina Carrega, Rob Frehse, Virginia Langmaid, Cheri Mossburg, Stephanie Elam and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.