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.

Chauvin juror Brandon Mitchell says he’s been stopped probably 50 times by Minneapolis police

By: - April 30, 2021

Before becoming known as Juror No. 52 during Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, Brandon Mitchell worked for a nonprofit and had a side gig coaching basketball at Minneapolis North High School.  Among the things he teaches his players is what to do if they get stopped by police.  It’s the same checklist he’d been given growing […]

What happens when a tiny police abolitionist group finds itself with $29 million?

By: - April 28, 2021

Black Visions Co-Director Kandace Montgomery took the stage in shorts and a T-shirt at Powderhorn Park on June 7, 2020 — 13 days after George Floyd died under Derek Chauvin’s knee. She stood in front of large, white block letters spelling out “DEFUND POLICE.”  Montgomery declared, “Minneapolis, we’re here because now is the time to dismantle […]

Coalition says it’s gathered over 20,000 signatures to put replacing Minneapolis Police Department on ballot

By: - April 22, 2021

The spokeswoman for a citizen petition drive to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department says the coalition has gathered more than 20,000 signatures — 8,000 more than needed — and will file the petition on April 30. Corenia Smith, campaign manager for Yes4Minneapolis, said the coalition has spent the past few weeks verifying signatures itself before […]

About that church photo

By: - April 22, 2021

The photo shows a church in Brooklyn Center that appears to be surrounded by a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Minnesota State Patrol stormtrooper operation. Dozens of officers wearing helmets, fluorescent yellow shirts, protective vests, maroon pants and knee pads, lined up in formation, batons in hand and zip ties at the ready, with a church in the […]

Chauvin verdict: Guilty on 3 charges in George Floyd’s death

By: , , and - April 20, 2021

The jury has spoken, and found Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and face down on the pavement at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue last May.  Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder; guilty […]

Chauvin case: Now it’s up to the jury

By: - April 19, 2021

Both sides gave their final arguments to the jury Monday in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, with the prosecution imploring jurors to believe what they saw on videos — three police officers holding George Floyd down for nine minutes and 29 seconds, killing him. The defense tried to raise doubts about the cause of […]

The Chauvin trial looks like David v. Goliath, but it’s not

By: - April 19, 2021

On the ninth day of testimony during one of the most significant police brutality cases in U.S. history, Derek Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson began to lose his voice. Jurors had been taking lots of notes as Dr. Martin Tobin explained how he thought George Floyd died of asphyxia as Chauvin and other former Minneapolis police […]

Chauvin declines to testify in his own defense; closing arguments Monday

By: - April 15, 2021

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin opted not to take the stand Thursday in the last day of testimony during his murder trial.  Out of the jury’s presence, Chauvin spoke on the record for the first time during the trial, after being handed a microphone and answering his attorney’s questions while seated next to him. […]

Forensic pathologist says manner of Floyd’s death ‘undetermined’

By: - April 14, 2021

Testimony in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial is nearing the end. Jurors heard from a Maryland forensic pathologist Wednesday who said George Floyd died of sudden cardiac arrest due to heart disease while being restrained by three Minneapolis police officers.  The defense witness contradicted prosecution experts who said Floyd died of asphyxia as a result of […]

Defense begins their case in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial

By: - April 13, 2021

The defense began putting on its case in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial Tuesday. Jurors heard about a similar traffic stop one year before George Floyd’s fatal police encounter. An ex-girlfriend said Floyd fell asleep in his car after leaving Cup Foods and before police arrived. And a police consultant said Chauvin’s actions were justified on […]

Chauvin trial: Defense begins presenting case Tuesday

By: - April 12, 2021

After 11 days of testimony, the prosecution is wrapping up its case against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.  The defense begins making its case Tuesday. Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of George Floyd on a south Minneapolis street. As Chauvin restrained Floyd with his knee pressed into […]

Judge denies motion to sequester Chauvin jury

By: - April 12, 2021

The defense of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on trial for the murder of George Floyd, asked the judge to sequester the jury Monday. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, tried to get Judge Peter Cahill to immediately sequester the jury in the wake of the Brooklyn Center police shooting on Sunday, which sparked protests and […]