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BEAVER FEVER GRIPS CAPITAL CITY

Plus an app for recording police interactions, a truly wild carjacking story, and more evidence of bad MPD behavior in today's Flyover.

Martin Krchnacek

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

“What is This Mysterious Creature?” Asks Local Twitter

It’s a beaver, folks. Just a beaver. Yesterday afternoon, MinnPost reporter Greta Kaul shared a delightful video, captured by her boyfriend, featuring a big ol’ beaver making their way through Lowertown. Much like the MPR raccoon, local Twitter came out in full force to share a variety of beaver jokes (“Daaaam, St. Paul!“), along with some mild hand-wringing and much general confusion at what they were looking at. “Twitter animal specialists. Please help identify this super chill animal strolling through downtown St. Paul today,” asked WCCO’s Jeff Wagner. What have we learned from this charming moment of rodent migration? Kaul followed up with a story for MinnPost today. The Twin Cities has a pretty healthy beaver population around the river. Most likely this little buddy awoke from hibernation, was kicked out of their beaver den to make room for babies, and was just looking for a new spot to make home. Wait till they find out about housing prices, right?

Pulled Over by Police? There’s an App for That.

One month after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop, three Twin Cities friends launched TurnSignl, an on-demand app that connects people who’ve been pulled over by police with a lawyer. TurnSignl connects and starts recording in real time, with participating attorneys trained in de-escalation overseeing the whole interaction between driver and police. A subscription to the app is $6.99 a month for individuals and $50 a month for attorneys—but thanks to a new partnership with the city and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, it’ll be free in Brooklyn Center, the Star Tribune’s Nick Williams reports. Live elsewhere? TurnSignl’s cofounders Jazz Hampton, Andre Creighton, and Mychal Frelix are committed to making it available to everyone, with free access options funded by the TurnSignl Foundation.

Yikes

A sad, wild, and very “what the fuck did I just read” story from the Strib this morning begins with the following lede: “A 35-year-old man was carjacked in downtown Minneapolis by three men, beaten and forced to withdraw $3,000 from his bank account while being held captive for several hours, while one of his assailants died of an apparent overdose during the act, according to charges filed Wednesday.” It gets both weirder and sadder from there—at one point during the ordeal, one suspect, Desmond D. Graham, doused the deceased suspect, Larry Mosby, with gasoline and set him on fire in an attempt to wake him. And it ends with a kicker for the ages, following Graham’s Tuesday arrest. “When officers left the interview room, Graham ripped a panic button and thermostat off the wall, believing they were cameras. He then crushed a pill and snorted it.”

Evidence Mounts That MPD Acted Like Unruly Animals

Specifically, during the riots and protests that followed the 2020 police murder of George Floyd. The latest evidence comes via an after-action report commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Compiled by Wilder Research, the report does outline some positive elements of law enforcement’s actions during that stretch, and you can read about those over at MPR. We’re more interested in the galling details, like MPD going rogue from the state’s command center, dubbed MACC, near TCF Bank Stadium. “[It] couldn’t possibly have demonstrated a more significant breakdown in command and control of an event like that,” one state official says. “And to everyone at the MACC, it was very clear that Minneapolis had no interest in being a good partner.” You can read the entire 129-page report here. Earlier this month, the Minneapolis City Council presented a similarly damning report.