Judge won’t stop homeless sweeps

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has rejected an attempt to stop the evictions of homeless people from encampments in Minneapolis parks.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a federal lawsuit this month on behalf of seven people who are living, or were living in the encampments.

The lawsuit claims Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials violated their constitutional rights by kicking them out of the encampments and destroying their belongings. They want the sweeps to stop and are seeking monetary damages.

In a ruling Thursday, federal Judge Wilhelmina Wright declined to issue a temporary order to stop the evictions because the plaintiffs had not met the “burden of demonstrating irreparable harm,” the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Officials told the court that encampments will not be removed unless there are health and safety risks to the encampment residents and the public, and there is adequate shelter elsewhere.

Suspect wounded during pat down

ST. PAUL (AP) — A suspect was wounded when his handgun fired during a pat down search by police in St. Paul, according to authorities.

The incident happened about 1:15 a.m. Friday when patrol officers saw two men acting suspiciously, police said. One of the men was detained and when officers were in the process of patting him down, they discovered he had a handgun.

Officials say at some point the gun discharged and struck the man in the leg. His injuries aren’t believed to be life threatening. Paramedics took the man to Regions Hospital where he’s in stable condition.

The man has been arrested for possessing a gun as a felon, officials said.

Three officers who were at the scene when the gun fired will be put on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

Cases, hospitalizations at single-day record

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials Friday reported a single-day high of 3,165 new coronavirus infections, with 18 deaths.

The state also reported 738 hospitalizations, another single-day high, with 176 people in intensive care.

States around the country are struggling with rising cases of the coronavirus. Despite the rising hospitalizations, Dr. Rahul Koranne of the Minnesota Hospital Association told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that hospitals are in better position to handle the surge than earlier this year.

“If there continues to be increased community spread and that results in a much higher number of Minnesotans needing both ICU care or non-ICU care, we have, operationally, dials that we will continue to fine-tune within the hospitals,” he told the newspaper.

State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said infections among staff and residents of long-term care facilities have started to increase again — with 186 identified on Tuesday alone. That comes after a summer when prevention measures kept the state’s infection rate at such facilities among the lowest in the nation.


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