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St. Paul City Attorney To Dismiss Cases Against Peaceful Protesters

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The city of St. Paul announced most of the current cases related to civil unrest following George Floyd's death will likely be thrown out.

The mayor and city attorney laid out the plan for resolving nearly 100 cases.

The community watched as the chaos moved from Minneapolis to St. Paul. Images of rioting and looting seared into memory.

But, people also channeled their anger and frustration peacefully said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter.

"We have seen an enormous number of people right here in our community, engage in powerful and peaceful protests, in front of the capitol, in front of the governor's residence," Carter said.

Nearly 100 cases are tied to the unrest in the capitol city. Eighty-seven are for curfew.

City attorney Lyndsey Olson said each case will be individually reviewed.

"We have determined cases where individuals were engaged only in peaceful protests, that did not involve associated acts of violence or threats to people or property, will be dismissed in the interest of justice," Olson said.

Others took a different path, and justice in those cases where a crime occurred will look different.

"We have people that set out with the goal to be destructive. We cannot and will not accept that," Carter said.

Olson said her office will look at alternatives to traditional prosecution in those cases. An option is using restorative justice with first time and non-violent offenders.

"It's a victim centered process focusing on healing for the victim, for the community and for the offender," Olson said.

If a person completes their plan, the case would be dismissed and sent to the court for expungement from their record. Traditional prosecution may be used in some cases.

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