Author

Deena Winter

Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs. Before joining the staff of the Reformer in 2021 she was a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She and her husband have a daughter, son, and very grand child. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, jog, garden and attempt to check out all the best restaurants in the metro area.

MPD head of homicide testifies in murder trial of Derek Chauvin: ‘If your knee is on a person’s neck, that could kill him’

By: - April 2, 2021

The head of homicide for the Minneapolis Police Department testified Friday that the use of force by Derek Chauvin and three other police officers to restrain George Floyd was “totally unnecessary.”  Lt. Richard Zimmerman said once they had Floyd handcuffed and face down on the street, they should have stopped restraining him. Instead, they held […]

George Floyd’s girlfriend takes the stand; Chauvin’s supervisor says restraint should have stopped sooner

By: - April 1, 2021

The fourth day of testimony in Derek Chauvin’s trial revolved around George Floyd’s drug use and two paramedics’ conclusion that Floyd was dead by the time their ambulance arrived on the scene at Cup Foods. Takeaways from the trial Thursday: Floyd’s girlfriend acknowledges their opioid addiction George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, 45, gave jurors a […]

Cup Foods clerk regrets 911 call on George Floyd; Chauvin body cam footage played in third day of trial

By: - March 31, 2021

During the third day of testimony in Derek Chauvin’s trial for murder and manslaughter, the jury saw more videos from virtually every angle of the day George Floyd died in south Minneapolis. They heard from the 19-year-old clerk who sold Floyd cigarettes, and an elderly Black man who pleaded with Floyd while he was pinned […]

Chauvin trial Day 2 takeaways: “I believe I witnessed a murder.”

By: - March 30, 2021

The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of George Floyd, continued Tuesday, with testimony from six witnesses.  Here are six takeaways from the trial Tuesday:  Vocal witness: “I wasn’t being heard”  Donald Williams II, a mixed martial arts fighter and the most vocal […]

George Floyd’s family, attorneys call for justice before opening statements in Chauvin trial

By: - March 29, 2021

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump stood outside the Hennepin County courthouse along with Rev. Al Sharpton and George Floyd’s relatives to demand justice in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The news conference was scheduled minutes before opening statements in the trial of Chauvin, who is charged with second- and third-degree murder […]

Record-breaking Floyd settlement is bigger than the city’s already-anemic insurance fund

By: - March 26, 2021

The $27 million settlement of a civil lawsuit by the city of Minneapolis is one of the biggest police brutality payouts of its kind, eclipsing the balance in the city’s self-insurance fund and requiring the city to tap general fund reserves.

The Chauvin jury is more racially diverse than the city of Minneapolis

By: - March 23, 2021

The jury that will decide whether Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder or manslaughter in the death of George Floyd is more racially diverse than the state of Minnesota, Hennepin County or the city of Minneapolis. Among the 15 jurors selected — 12 jurors and three alternates — there are four Black people, nine white […]

Judge rules Derek Chauvin trial will remain in Minneapolis, ruling against a delay and venue change

By: - March 19, 2021

Derek Chauvin’s murder trial will go on, and won’t move elsewhere in the state, a judge decided Friday after a week of courtroom consternation over the city of Minneapolis’s announcement one week ago of a $27 million civil settlement with George Floyd’s family. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin’s attorney’s motion to delay […]

Chauvin attorney seeks delay, prospective juror dismissed after city settles with Floyd family

By: and - March 15, 2021

The defense lawyer for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin made a flurry of motions Monday morning in response to an unprecedented $27 million settlement agreement announced Friday with the family of George Floyd, who died under Chauvin’s knee last May.  Defense Attorney Eric Nelson said he was “gravely concerned” about the news, questioning the […]

Nearly half the jury in the Chauvin trial is seated: Here’s who they are

By: - March 12, 2021

By day’s end Thursday, nearly half the jury that will decide the fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had been seated.  They will render a verdict on Chauvin, who faces charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Jury selection is moving at a much faster pace than expected. Up to three […]

As the Chauvin trial begins, policing in Minneapolis remains largely unchanged

By: - March 9, 2021

As the historic trial of Derek Chauvin begins nearly a year after George Floyd died under Chauvin’s knee, Minneapolis has made some incremental steps to reform its police department and shift money away from traditional law enforcement to prevention.  But aside from those relatively minor changes, the city’s public safety agenda is mired in bitter […]

Bipartisan effort would end driver’s license suspensions for unpaid tickets

By: and - March 2, 2021

On a recent Friday night, Lamont Fondern Jr. was driving to Walmart in Bloomington when he noticed a cop car behind him. He got nervous. The cop’s lights flashed as Fondern took an exit. He turned on Facebook Live. As a Black man getting pulled over, he said,“I needed someone to watch.” The officer told […]