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Removal Of Fence Surrounding State Capitol To Begin June 1, Official Says

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Teardown of the security fence surrounding the State Capitol will begin June 1, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Administration said.

A fence has surrounded the Capitol since May 2020, when George Floyd's murder sparked civil unrest. Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, has said the fence has protected the $695 million building as intended.

"With the fencing securing these properties, it requires less police personnel to be on guard and to be on duty, allowing more officers to be available [and] to be responsive to the needs of the community," Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said last month.

The original fence was up for about 10 months before being replaced ahead of the trial for Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of murdering Floyd. Officials said that fence is sturdier than the previous one. Both fences cost taxpayers more than $200,000.

MDA said earlier this month that "absent any credible threat to the building, the recommendation from both state agencies is to remove the fencing after the legislative session ends." Monday was the last day of the session.

Legislative leaders indicated Monday they hope to reopen the Capitol to the public soon.

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