As you likely know, the trial of former MPD Officer Derek Chauvin begins in Downtown Minneapolis today with the start of jury selection. The Whittier Alliance will be doing everything we can to support our community throughout the process and in the pursuit of justice being served. We have included some key information below to help our neighbors and small businesses prepare.
Monday, March 8th - Jury selection begins
March 29th - Trial opening arguments begin (trial duration is variable)
The entire trial will be livestreamed on multiple local and national media outlets, including Court TV.
Community Care and Safety Connections
The Whittier neighborhood came together in unprecedented ways last year at the onset of COVID-19 and the uprising in June to take care of one another. The time ahead will undoubtedly revive and exacerbate the collective trauma our community endured, and we encourage our neighbors to find ways to practice self care and check in regularly on your neighbors to be sure they have the support they need.
Whittier Solidarity Network
If you are someone who utilizes smartphone apps, we encourage you to download "Discord," create an account, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a secure link invitation to join the Whittier Solidarity Network. Instructions about how to navigate the app and interact with others on it is available on the network's landing page. Having a direct line of communication to your neighbors will be critical in supporting each other and dispelling any misinformation. Whittier Alliance's social media channels will disseminate information as much as possible.
We also encourage you to review these helpful tips compiled by our friends at Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association on how to prepare your home, your family, and your neighborhood for a community emergency, including family preparedness, Covid-19 considerations, and coordination with your nearby neighbors.
Small Business Preparedness
Whittier Business Organizing & Communication
Many of Whittier’s small business owners continue to work together to establish a shared plan for securing properties and maintaining lines of communication with one another. If you are a business owner or nonprofit rep who would like to get connected with this group, email Nick Nelson from Nelson’s Green Garage directly at email@example.com.
City of Minneapolis Recommendations:
The City encourages businesses to have an emergency preparedness plan; find resources for different plans here. Additionally businesses may reach out to the City at SmallBusiness@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-2499 with questions about preparation and general information about regulations and resources.
Some considerations might include:
- Adding physical security measures, such as boarding or permanent security gates
- Checking in with your insurance company and make sure your policy is up to date
- Uploading electronic copies of important documents and records to an online cloud service (for example: Dropbox, Google Drive) and/or bring physical copies to an off-site location
- Continuing to build connections with your neighbors and sharing contact information so that it’s ready if you need it
- If you want additional security personnel and choose to go with a security company, please fully protect yourself and property by only hiring licensed security personnel. These are the people who will carry their own insurance and have training.
Communication Channels to Follow
Trial Information from the Judicial Branch:
Joint Information System (JIS): The City of Minneapolis has established a JIS to disseminate information not covered by the State of Minnesota’s Joint Information Center, including trial updates, transit service changes, avenues to report suspicious activity, and resource links for various stakeholder groups.
City of Minneapolis Newsletter Updates
Metro Transit Rider Alerts
Joint Information Center (JIC): The State of Minnesota has established a unified command structure between MPD and partnering law enforcement agencies that will manage public safety information development and message distribution.
Operation Safety Net: The National Guard will be mobilized during the trial and have a visible presence in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Other local and state law enforcement agencies will be assisting MPD during the trial and will be operating under a unified command called Operation Safety Net. For updates and information from Operation Safety Net follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The stated mission of Operation Safety Net: “Preserve and protect lawful First Amendment non-violent protests and demonstrations; Prevent large scale violent civil disturbances, assaultive actions, property damage, fires, and looting to government buildings, businesses, and critical infrastructure.”
Cultural Radio Programs
Tune in to one of the City's four radio programs for ongoing updates on the trial and City preparedness plans:
- KMOJ 89.9 FM (English),
- La Raza 95.7 FM (Spanish)
- KALY 101.7 FM (Somali)
- WIXK AM 1590 (Hmong)
Whittier Alliance staff and members of the Board will do our best to assist with community needs as they arise during the coming days and weeks. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-871-7756 to connect with someone from our team, as needed.