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What We Know About the Death of Khalil Ahmad Azad

Plus Frey eats fries, where Gophers drink, and a bit of local music history for sale in today's Flyover.

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

Family, Activists: 'Accidental Drowning' Seems Unlikely

On July 2 last year, the Robbinsdale Police Department pulled over 24-year-old Khalil Ahmad Azad. He fled on foot, and three days later was found dead, floating face-down in Crystal Lake. Sounds awfully suspicious, doesn't it? And yet, as Blck Press's Jasmine McBride reports, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that his death was an accidental drowning—a ruling that seems all the less likely following newly released photos of Azad's body.

"Images show a grossly disfigured face that appears to have been brutally beaten," McBride writes. "Community members are comparing the images of Azad’s body to those of Emmitt Till." Minnesota Teen Activists wrote that, after viewing the photos, they believe Khalil was "brutalized by police," and that the graphic images appear to show K-9 bites, scratches, and dreadlocks that have been torn from his scalp. Along with Azad's family, they're calling for a full investigation into his death, including the release of body and dashcam videos and prosecutions of the officers and medical examiners involved. You can watch last night's vigil for Azad here.

Come On, Man

It's unclear if being a sock puppet for developers and the Chamber of Commerce bothers Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. But, clearly, the native Virginian gets perturbed when constituents mispronounce his name, rhyming it incorrectly with gray. So, as MPD remains unfettered, homeless encampments remain targeted, and basic big-city infrastructure like bikeshare remains in limbo, the mayor has sprung into action with... an unfathomably dorky new video series called "Fries with Frey." Deploying hand gestures that no honest man could muster, Frey explains the premise:

"I thought it'd be a good program to start called 'Fries with Fry,' maybe a little bit cheesy and corny, but it's going to be fun," he says while wagging fistfuls of Fhima’s French fries at the viewer. "You're going to submit some ideas, and we're going to cover them. We're going to make sure we're as transparent as possible, giving a full rundown on a full range of different tissues. And we get to visit some really cool joints in doing so. Today we're at Fhima’s, and I can tell ya: These fries are insane."

We look forward to future episodes, which will surely provide unfiltered, difficult conversations about pressing issues amid all the fried potatoes and aioli.

Gopher Bar Scene Report!

University of Minnesota students and alumni: Where do they get drunk these days? A dynamite question, and one that's answered with delightful rigor by the Minnesota Daily's Ethan Lambert. The cub reporter journeyed to taverns old (Manning’s, Stub & Herbs) and newish (Kollege Klub, Blue Door Pub) to take the Gopher barfly pulse. At Burrito Loco, an agriculture student named Sully explains that, while the fishbowls rock, the country-heavy BLoco DJ is much too loud. “I don’t like that at the end of the night I don’t really remember what happened at Blarney’s,” offers Bo, who was visiting from another college and described that Dinkytown party bar as "perfect." Elsewhere, an older, more reliable narrator named Jason correctly proclaims that "not a thing” could be improved at the old-school Manning's. (We're partial to the neighboring Como Tap, but there are no wrong answers at the intersection of Como Avenue and 22nd Street SE.) In any case, check out Lambert's entire piece for lots more boozy color and nostalgia.

Wanna Buy Some Historic Drums?

If you’ve got some cash to spare and a hankering for a drum kit with a pedigree, has Vince Schendel got an deal for you. Until his death in 2003, Al Ophuls was the drummer for the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band, the oldster outfit that Ruth Adams famously led at Nye’s Polonaise Room. (They also had a stint as the house band on Comedy Central’s Let’s Bowl.) Ophuls’s kit was on display at the Minnesota Historical Society for years, and then went into storage. Now Schendel is looking to sell on Facebook Marketplace, with bids starting at $4K. It’s a simple five-piece set—six if you count the cowbell. It might also be haunted. (We made that last part up.) We've asked the seller for additional, non-paranormal details; we'll update this post if/when we hear back.

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