Citing the potential for “civil unrest” associated with a verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin trial and Brooklyn Center shooting of Duante Wright Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an emergency order on April 19. The order includes seven metro counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington.
The Governor’s emergency order notes the role of “Operation Safety Net (OSN), a joint planning and response effort between the State of Minnesota and many local jurisdictions to coordinate and send resources” in which the Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) actively participates.
The City Council of Eden Prairie is also annual signatory to the Hennepin Mutual Aid agreement, a pact between between city agencies in Hennepin County. The Hennepin Mutual Aid Agreement is administered by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
According to EPPD Chief Greg Weber the mutual pact agreement enables “mutual aid and interdepartmental cooperation” between Eden Prairie and other agencies in Hennepin County.
Community leaders critical of OSN and policing response
During a morning Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) interview on April 20, NAACP-Minneapolis President Angela Rose Myers was critical of the OSN and Governor Walz sending the “military” National Guard units and police from other communities where protests have taken place.
In a news conference April 20 , a group of African-American community leaders called for federal action by President Joe Biden. Nekima Levy Armstrong, an activist and lawyer described OSN as “acting as a reign of terror on the African-American community…peaceful demonstrators and black youth.”
Also, on April 20, a group of Minneapolis area state legislators signed a letter to Governor Walz seeking to hold police from “other jurisdictions” under the command of the OSN accountable for “state violence” and violent police tactics in Brooklyn Center in April, 2021 as well as in Minneapolis in 2020 following the death of George Floyd.
Editor’s note: This is a developing story.