Minneapolis suggests business owners install ‘permanent security gates’ ahead of Chauvin trial

The trial is set to begin Monday with jury selection.

Barricades and fences line the streets near the courthouse where Derek Chauvin's trial will take place (Rebecca Brannon/Alpha News)

City leaders encouraged Minneapolis business owners to consider installing “permanent security gates” ahead of ex-officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd.

The trial is set to begin Monday with jury selection but could face delays because of an appellate court’s Friday ruling that the presiding judge in the case erred when he didn’t reinstate charges of third-degree murder against Chauvin, The New York Times reported.

The downtown area is already heavily fortified, with businesses and government buildings boarding up their windows and installing barricades.

The current scene outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where Chauvin’s trial will take place. (Rebecca Brannon/Alpha News)

According to a document obtained by KARE 11, city leaders advised business owners to make sure their insurance policies are up to date and upload “important documents and records to an online cloud service.”

“During this time period you may also want to consider … adding physical security measures, such as boarding or permanent security gates,” said the letter, which also included tips for hiring private security.

“Businesses have faced a tremendous amount of challenges over the past 13 months, through the pandemic and unrest. With the impact from last year’s unrest still visible, business and property owners want to know what they have to do to keep their properties secure and workers and customers safe,” the letter continued.

In St. Paul, law enforcement leaders are holding a series of eight online workshops on “protecting your business during civil unrest.”

Opening arguments in the trial are scheduled to begin March 29. Local officials said residents can expect to see an increase in law enforcement during the closing-arguments phase of the trial and estimated a mid to late April verdict.