Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Lack of police transparency is very transparent
“Control the narrative.” You how public officials live by that phrase? Well, in the case of yesterday’s police shooting/killing, the people who run our city are keeping very quiet. So the public is getting information from people who will talk about it. Most info has been coming from Facebook postings via lawyer/activist Nekima Levy Armstrong, who received a call from interim chief of MPD Amelia Huffman hours after the shooting happened. That’s very weird, right? She’s also been in communication with the family, who say that the victim’s name was Amir Locke, a 25-year-old man who was crashing on a family member’s couch. He was not named on the search warrant police were trying to issue, and he had a license for the gun. Without that info, we’d know even less about the case than we already do. Mayor Jacob Frey and Huffman held a press conference yesterday but didn’t take questions. Minneapolis’s website confirms there is body cam footage, but at this time it will not be released, despite calls from city council members as well as Ilhan Omar. Confusingly, MPD released three pictures of Locke’s gun in a press release Wednesday, which also informed us that they’d follow up with his name and the cause of death after it is determined by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Two teens arrested in connection to Richfield shooting
On Tuesday, two students were shot outside of South Education Center in Richfield. Jahmari Rice, 15, died from gunshot wounds. A second student, 17, is in critical condition. The two suspects fled the scene, but were arrested later that night and remain in custody awaiting charges, Police Chief Jay Henthorne said at a news conference yesterday. The suspects are 18 and 19, and police have confirmed that all involved were acquaintances. Rice’s father, Cortez Rice, is currently awaiting trial on charges of intimidation of the judge presiding over the Kim Potter manslaughter trial. The Star Tribune reports that he was in court yesterday, but a judge dodged any consideration to grant him furlough to plan/attend his son’s funeral.
Ojibwe now has a Rosetta Stone program
In really cool news, Mille Lacs Band is working with language software company Rosetta Stone to offer courses in the Ojibwe language. It’s estimated that there are currently only 20 fluent Ojibwe/Anishinaabe speakers (MPR reports that two decades ago there were 145), with most Native speakers in their 70s. The hope is that by collaborating with Rosetta Stone–which offers courses via phone, tablet, or computer–more Native people will have access to learn the language and, by proxy, their culture. “A lot of our understanding of the natural world and how we interact with one another is embedded in the language and how we talk about something,” says Baabiitaw Boyd, the Band’s senior advisor in the fight to renew interest in the language. The class, which is part of the Endangered Languages Program, is currently free for Mille Lacs Band members (find more info here). When released to the general public, people will sign up to learn Ojibwe for $100.
The world’s loudest, drunkest church collection plate is going silent for at least a year. For the past 26 years, the Basilica Block Party has rocked the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis, only skipping 2020 due to COVID-19. But today, organizers said they’re “taking a year off” to “rethink” the outdoor fest. “Compared to previous non-COVID years, attendance was down in 2021,” BBP events manager Holly Dockendorf said in a press release. “And that was expected, but because the pandemic continues with many uncertainties, we thought this would be a good time to take a planned hiatus.” In recent years, BBP split the difference in appealing to listeners of Cities 97 (e.g. Jason Mraz, Andy Grammer) and 89.3 the Current (CHVRCHES, Spoon). Mega-promoter Live Nation took over booking duties from locally based Sue McLean & Associates in 2019. Launched in 1995, the fest never relented with its fundraising mission to restore the Basilica of St. Mary; it’s unclear how much further restoration-via-rock the ol’ girl needs.