Deena Winter

Deena Winter

Deena Winter is a reporter for the Minnesota Reformer, an affiliate of the nonprofit States Newsroom network. 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.

‘The state is not taking over Minneapolis Public Schools’

By: - June 28, 2023

Minneapolis Public Schools finance and budget officials put a positive spin on their financial outlook Tuesday, seeking to assure residents that the district can avoid state intervention. Ibrahima Diop, senior officer of finance and operations, said the school district has faced decades of chronic underfunding and is now grappling with declining enrollment and rising costs, […]

Some of the most jarring statements in the DOJ report on Minneapolis police

By: - June 20, 2023

Attorney General Merrick Garland was in Minneapolis Friday to release a damning indictment of the Minneapolis Police Department after a two-year investigation into racist policing practices. The investigation was triggered by MPD officers’ 2020 murder of George Floyd on the streets of south Minneapolis, and found that systemic problems in MPD “made what happened to George Floyd […]

Minneapolis school district on the brink of insolvency, state involvement

By: - June 12, 2023

Declining enrollment and rising costs have pushed the Minneapolis school district to the brink of insolvency, which could lead to intervention by the Minnesota Department of Education. If a district’s reserves — which are akin to a savings account — drop into the red too far, the state would determine that the district has fallen […]

Minneapolis council approves $645k settlement to man who was beaten, tased

By: - May 29, 2022

The city of Minneapolis will pay $645,000 to a man who was beaten and tased for two minutes as he and his friend Jaleel Stallings tried to surrender to police. The settlement is the latest in a string of expensive settlements with people who say they were the victims of police misconduct in the days […]

Republican Party to charge new fees, vet volunteers, ban critics from MN state convention

By: - April 26, 2022

The Minnesota Republican Party plans to vet volunteers, charge campaigns for volunteers and bar people who “publicly attack” the party or its endorsed candidates from attending its state convention next month in Rochester. The requirements would seem to anticipate a chaotic scene, as the ongoing struggle between mainstream and more radical factions of the party […]

Bodycam shows Minneapolis officers ‘hunting’ civilians during Floyd protests

By: - October 6, 2021

Another batch of body camera videos released Tuesday show how Minneapolis police officers became increasingly militaristic in their attempt to clamp down on protesters five days after George Floyd was killed. They mocked some demonstrators and sought out others who were breaking curfew and fired rubber bullets at them. They made racially tinged remarks, derided […]

Quietly, gradually, George Floyd Square is open to traffic for the first time since his murder

By: - July 23, 2021

On the morning of June 3, there were about as many journalists in George Floyd Square as city workers who were trying to reopen the four-block area to traffic, over the objections of some protesters and residents. The neighborhood had evolved into an “autonomous zone,” an expansive memorial and no-go zone for police after Floyd […]

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

By: - 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, who was handcuffed and face down on the pavement, for more than 9 minutes at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue last May. The incident was filmed by a teenager and set off a national racial reckoning after […]

Chauvin case: Now it’s up to the jury

By: - April 20, 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 […]

Dr. Andrew Baker, key witness, stands by homicide determination in Chauvin trial

By: - April 10, 2021

Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner told the jury he stood by his initial conclusion that George Floyd died when his heart and lungs stopped after Derek Chauvin and other Minneapolis police officers subdued and restrained him, compressing his neck. Dr. Andrew Baker, chief medical examiner since 2004, is a key witness in the murder and […]

Breathing expert testifies in Chauvin trial: “That’s the moment the life goes out of his body”

By: - April 9, 2021

A diminutive Irish doctor captured the attention of the jury deciding Derek Chauvin’s fate, explaining in simple terms Thursday how he believes three Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd when they handcuffed and put him face down on the street and restrained him for more than nine minutes. Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonary and critical […]