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Remember When Don Samuels Asked the Cops to Bust a Hot Dog Handout?

Plus: Schools reopening, Frey’s bad-faith tweet, and Potter’s charges pile up.

It's not like we're trying to write about hot dogs every day, honest.
Photo by Kelsey Todd on Unsplash

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

“Trusted Voices” Oppose Public Grilling

Don Samuels, who is suing the city over the phrasing of the Minneapolis public safety ballot question, was hailed in a Strib editorial as one of the “trusted voices” of the Northside community yesterday. In response, local Twitter was abuzz with memories of run-ins Samuels had with other members of that community over the years. Who, for instance, could forget the immortal Twin Cities Daily Planet headline “Don Samuels calls cops over hotdog giveaway”? In 2014, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) was handing out free hot dogs in front of its building on Broadway Avenue and asking folks to pledge to vote when a police officer swung by at Samuels’s request to investigate possible unlicensed wiener peddling. (There’s an entertaining video of the run-in here.) In defense of his actions, Samuels said illegal food vendors had been “a problem in our community before.” Racket, it need hardly be said, unconditionally supports giving hot dogs to the people.

School-per Spreader Events

Delta cases are surging and kids aren’t vaccinated, but sure—let’s start the dang ol’ school year. What a stressful, terrible time to be a parent! Sahan Journal gets it: Today they published a conversation with Dr. Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the U of M, who shared advice for how parents can prep for COVID-19 in the classroom. (It might not make you feel “better,” per se, but at least you’ll feel better prepared?) NPR shared “6 Strategies to Make Classrooms Safer As the Delta Variant Spreads,” and as of this morning, St. Paul Public Schools are requiring staff members to get vaccinated or undergo regular testing. Why is none of this making us feel better?

Minneapolis, Come Get Your Mayor

Jacob Frey has issued a statement in response to the Minnesota Reformer’s Jaleel Stallings story, which—if you haven’t read it by now, it’s going to be one of this year’s defining stories. Read it. Frey said the allegations “run counter to our values as a city,” which is perhaps a hair more forceful than saying that “context is important.” Council Member Steve Fletcher, meanwhile, told the Reformer he was “deeply disappointed” in the police chief’s statement suggesting that “hunting Minneapolis residents in an unmarked van and firing less lethal weapons at them might be understandable in the context of protests.” Over on Twitter this morning, Mayor Frey—who it turns out can see his mentions after all—is picking disingenuous fights with Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender.

Charges Pile Up Against Kim Potter

It’s looking like Kim Potter won’t face murder charges for the killing of Daunte Wright. On Thursday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added an additional charge—first-degree manslaughter—against Potter, the former Brooklyn Center cop who shot and killed Wright during an April traffic stop; she’s already facing second-degree manslaughter. Wright’s family is urging Ellison to pursue murder charges. “Keith Ellison, that was just not another Black man,” Wright’s sister, Diamond Wright, said in July. “That was my brother. Add murder charges, please. Daunte Wright’s life matters.” Wright, 20, was killed during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis cop who was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in May.