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Public Safety Ballot Question Blocked Again

Plus rent-control ballot measures and Noor's murder conviction reversal in today's Flyover.

The Mother's March Against Police Violence in St. Paul, July 2020.
Bryan Frank

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

Ballot Frustrations Continue

Hennepin County District Court judge Jamie Anderson issued yet another injunction on Minneapolis’s public safety ballot question yesterday‚ the third time she’s done so. Anderson called City Council’s latest language, which was determined in a buzzer-beater session last week, “unreasonable and misleading.” Yesterday’s news came one day after the Star Tribune ran a page-one, above-the-fold puff piece about the judge, and three days before the start of early voting in Minneapolis. If this shit makes you as furious as it makes us, Yes 4 Minneapolis is asking people to gather Friday at 3 p.m. outside Hennepin County Government Center, saying, “We won’t stand by while the elite of Minneapolis trample over our democracy.” Moments ago, the State Supreme Court granted an accelerated review to the ballot question, with briefs due by 5 p.m. today.

Hey Look, Something You Can Actually Vote On

Still on the ballot this fall, barring some nefarious judicial overreach? Rent control, which voters will have a say on in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. In Minneapolis, voters are weighing in on a charter amendment that—if passed—will mean City Council develops a new policy that’ll be up for a future vote. In St. Paul, the measure would put a 3% cap on annual rent increases. Sahan Journal has a great explainer about what these measures would do and who they’re meant to benefit, along with conversations with folks on both sides of the issue. Meanwhile, the Reformer reports today that St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is staying quiet on the citizen-led rent control proposal, saying through a spokesperson that the city can’t advocate for it one way or the other.

Noor’s Murder Conviction Reversed

Did ex-Minneapolis cop Mohamed Noor meet the legal threshold for a “depraved mind” when he fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017? In February, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Noor’s third-degree murder conviction, thus deeming his mind depraved (legally speaking). In a shocking reversal Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected that decision. That means Noor, who’s also serving up to 10 years for second-degree manslaughter, will likely be out of prison much sooner. Fellow ex-cop Derek Chauvin, who is serving 22.5 years in prison for murdering George Floyd last year, could use this ruling to contest his third-degree murder conviction, though he’d still be stuck with the second-degree murder one.

Tragedy in Dunn County

The Pioneer Press has an in-depth story today on Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, Jasmine Christine Sturm, Matthew Isiah Pettus, and Loyace Foreman III—the four Minnesota friends who were found dead in Wisconsin Sunday. The gun-violence victims were last seen in St. Paul Saturday night. The next day, a farmer found their bodies in an SUV 65 miles to the east in Dunn County, Wisconsin. What happened in between? “That is the mystery,” Damone Presley Sr., father of Flug-Presley, told the Pioneer Press. “Hopefully, through the investigation we’ll get that answered.”

Aw, Nuts!

Wow, this has been a bleak Flyover. How about some levity? Iconic Planters mascot Mr. Peanut has been through a lot these past years. First, he died after driving his Nutmobile off a cliff. Then he was reborn, Groot-style, as a baby nut. Eventually, he returned to OG monocle/spats/top hat-wearing form, thanks to his new corporate overlords at Hormel. These days, he’s living in a (presumably) new Nutmobile in the woods of Duluth, and you’re invited to hang there, too. On September 17, the Nutmobile, a giant peanut on wheels, will be available to rent for three days only. Should you be the lucky RSVP’er, you’ll get a $1,500 stipend for activities and a story to tell your grandkids someday. Although you should know that, judging from press photos, the nuthouse’s interior is a little sparse on amenities. Basically you get a bed, a couch, and a giant screen emblazoned with Planter’s yellow-and-blue logo. Is this why Mr. Peanut drove off that cliff?