Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson said the Police Department will ensure the safety of protesters as violence continues in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis.

“Northfield officers are trained on and will continue training on implicit bias, crisis intervention, race and equity, response to people in mental health crisis, and use of force issues,” he said in a press release. “Additionally, we will work to ensure the safety of anyone who chooses to legally and peacefully protest, and ask community members to be mindful of when, where, and how they choose to gather or protest.”

Nelson said Northfield officers value the partnerships and relationships they have built with all Northfielders, regardless of race or immigration status.

“Our vow has been, and will continue to be that officers treat all community members with dignity and respect,” he said. “In particular, the department has worked to improve relationships and understanding with our city’s Latino community and with other partner groups such as Growing Up Healthy, the Mayor’s Youth Council, our local faith community, and many others.”

Law enforcement agencies throughout Rice and Dakota counties are working together during this process.

“We are so thankful for the police/community partnership in Northfield that helps keep us all as safe as possible,” said Deputy Chief of Police Mark Elliott.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, violence continued Friday night in the Twin Cities despite charges being filed that day against Derek Chauvin, the police officer suspected in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man being detained on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill.

According to the Star Tribune, at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Gov. Tim Walz and Mayor Jacob Frey held a lengthy, emotionally ragged news conference. Walz began by saying that he had talked to Floyd’s family and that the family agreed what was happening in Minneapolis was horrific and counterproductive.

In the news conference, Walz implied that outside outsiders, perhaps including anarchists, white supremacists and drug cartel agents from outstate Minnesota, were contributing to the destruction.

Reach Associate Editor Sam Wilmes at 507-645-1115. © Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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