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Denver posts notices of Arapahoe Square homeless encampment cleanups



Denver posts notices of Arapahoe Square homeless encampment cleanups

Denver is looking to make a section of Arapahoe Square a regular stop on its series of homeless encampment cleanups.

According to notices posted last week by the city, the “regular cleanup area” would be a generally triangular zone with the boundaries of Broadway and Park Avenue West, and Welton and 20th streets.

Regular cleanups are defined as those that take place three or more times a week between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays. The cleanups are intended to keep sidewalks and other public rights-of-way clear and to keep the areas as hygienic as possible.

People are required to remove their belongings during the cleanups. But if they don’t, the city is required to post where those items have been taken and how to pick them up. When the cleaning is finished, people may return to the area with their belongings as long as those items don’t block pedestrians.

Denver has an urban camping ban ordinance in place that does not allow people to sleep overnight on public or private property, unless given the authority to do so. More than 80 percent of voters rejected a ballot initiative in 2019 that would have essentially overturned the ordinance.

The city has done cleanups of homeless encampments for years, but the degree of enforcement can vary and many encampments remain in place for lengthy periods of time.

The city is required to post notifications of cleanups at homeless encampments at least a week in advance, but only 48 hours in advance for sites deemed to be a health hazard.

That’s required by a settlement reached between Denver and Raymond Lyall and five other plaintiffs in 2019. Lyall and the other plaintiffs sued the city in federal court in 2016 over the cleanups, also called “sweeps” by homeless advocates, and a federal judge ruled in their favor in 2017.

Eric Heinz, BusinessDen

Encampments within Arapahoe Square prompted the city to propose cleanups at least three times a week.

The settlement stated the city will work with Denver Homeless Out Loud and Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to provide cleanup notifications.

According to the posted notices, a meeting that will address the Arapahoe Square cleanup area will take place with Denver officials and the Lyall Settlement Advisory Group at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday at the La Alma Lincoln Park Amphitheater at 1102-1198 Osage St.

Representatives for Denver Homeless Out Loud, which advocates for homeless people’s rights, said they have seen homeless people have their belongings confiscated at other cleanups conducted by the city.

“It looks like they’re trying to do the same thing,” Benjamin Dunning, a spokesman for Denver Homeless Out Loud, told BusinessDen.

Dunning said Denver Homeless Out Loud is working with attorneys on the matter to determine how to respond to the cleanups. He said the prospect of more development coming to the area has been burdensome on the homeless, and the group is skeptical of how the cleanups will be handled.

“I think the big issue is that (Arapahoe Square) is close to the baseball stadium,” Dunning said. “They’re trying to develop all those parking lots. They have ideas of things they’d like to build there instead, and that’s the pressure that comes on the homeless.”

A ballot initiative spearheaded by the Denver Republican Party on the Nov. 2 ballot asks voters whether Denver should enforce unauthorized camping bans and to allow for private security to prohibit it if the city does not respond.

It would also limit Denver’s maximum sanctioned outdoor camping spaces to four. The city currently has only two in operation, one at Park Hill United Methodist Church and one at Regis University.


Boston police investigate weekend death in Hyde Park



Boston police investigate weekend death in Hyde Park

Boston police are investigating what appears to be a shooting death in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting at about 3 p.m. Sunday and found a man suffering “from apparent gunshot wounds,” police said in a statement posted on the department’s website.

He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name was not publicly released.

The death remains under investigation and there was no word on any arrests. Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to contact police.

In a separate homicide investigation, police on Sunday released the name of the victim in a fatal stabbing last week in Mattapan. Ralph Boggs, 50, was stabbed just after 11 p.m. on Thursday. No arrests have been made.

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Apparent Oakdale standoff leads to lockdown at schools Monday afternoon



Apparent Oakdale standoff leads to lockdown at schools Monday afternoon

Tartan High School and Oakdale Elementary students were held after school due to a lockdown Monday afternoon prompted by an apparent police standoff.

High school students that rode the bus were able to get home safely and on time. Those not on buses were held at the school until it was deemed safe at 4:50 p.m. The school normally gets out at 2:40 p.m.

Oakdale Elementary pushed student dismissal back 45 minutes due to the same incident. The elementary school normally gets out at 3:20 p.m.

Police have provided little information at this time.  Minnesota News Now described the scene as an apparent standoff between police and a gunman in a nearby apartment complex.


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Why SF Giants’ LaMonte Wade Jr.’s parents won’t see their son play NLDS at Dodger Stadium: A ping pong tournament



Why SF Giants’ LaMonte Wade Jr.’s parents won’t see their son play NLDS at Dodger Stadium: A ping pong tournament

LOS ANGELES — Emily and LaMonte Wade Sr. have been something of a good luck charm for the San Francisco Giants and their son, outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr.

But the pair aren’t expected to be in attendance at Dodger Stadium to watch their son take on Max Scherzer and the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 3 of the National League Division series on Monday night. They have a more pressing matter to attend to.

Emily Wade’s ping pong tournament.

“Shows where her priorities are,” Wade Jr. joked a few hours before his game. “But, no, she’s having fun with it. They will definitely be watching.”

Wade Jr.’s mom wasn’t in attendance for the NLDS’s first two games in San Francisco, either, but watched on TV as the Giants and Dodgers drew a 1-1 series tie with the rivalry heading to Los Angeles for the next two games. Wade Jr.’s parents will watch Game 3 and 4 on TV, too.

Wade Sr. has been sending highlight videos from Emily’s tournament to their son. Starting in left field for Monday’s game, Wade Jr. hopes to send a few highlight videos of his own.

Wade Jr.’s parents became ballpark fixtures this season. Wade Jr. hit a walk-off home run in a July win over the Arizona Diamondbacks that sailed over his mom’s head in the bleachers. The 27-year-old has earned the nickname “Late-night LaMonte” for hitting six game-tying or go-ahead hits in the ninth inning this season, which is the most by any MLB player in a season over the last 40 years.

In his first season with the Giants, Wade Jr. is primarily used against right-handed pitchers, batting .268 against righties with an .860 OPS and 18 home runs in 299 at-bats.

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2 men charged in weekend shooting at St. Paul bar that killed 1, injured 14



St Paul’s West Seventh Street businesses, patrons say downtown crime a growing concern

Two men in a private dispute — one accusing the other of abusing his female relative — shot multiple times at each other in a crowded St. Paul bar early Sunday, according to criminal charges. Both men were injured, a woman was killed and 12 others were hurt in the cross fire during the city’s worst mass shooting in recent memory.

Terry Lorenzo Brown Jr., 33, of St. Paul, and Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, of Las Vegas, were charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court for the shooting at the Seventh Street Truck Park bar on the edge of downtown.

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Vikings survived against Detroit, but Mike Zimmer admits, ‘We’re not all happy about how we won’



Vikings survived against Detroit, but Mike Zimmer admits, ‘We’re not all happy about how we won’

After a loss the previous week, head coach Mike Zimmer talked about what a good team the Vikings had. After a win Sunday, there were no such pronouncements.

The Vikings blew a 10-point lead in the final three minutes and needed a 54-yard field goal by Greg Joseph on the final play at U.S. Bank Stadium to win 19-17 over winless Detroit, one of the NFL’s worst teams. That came on the heels of a 14-7 home loss on Oct. 3 to Cleveland, one of the league’s better teams.

“Well, it’s a win,” Zimmer said Monday. “And I think the good thing about it is that we’re not all happy about how we won. I think it’s easy, human nature, that the next week, when you win a game, that you’re maybe not as focused or something like that, and right now they need to be focused again.”

Next up for the Vikings (2-3) is Sunday’s game at Carolina (3-2). Zimmer said they have work to do, especially after having “struggled some offensively.”

After averaging 29.7 points in the first three games, the Vikings have averaged just 13 points in the past two. Inconsistent and conservative play on offense has led to boos ringing through the crowd Sunday.

“You never want your own fans to be booing you, but we’ve got to execute,” center Garrett Bradbury said. “Whatever play’s called, our job as players is to play, and coaches have done a great job of putting us in positions, and we trust whichever direction they want to go. (The boos don’t) get to us, but it’s just a little bit more emphasis on we’ve got to make plays.”

The biggest boos came during a stretch when the Lions took advantage of Alexander Mattison’ fumble at the Minnesota 20 inside the final two minutes to take a 17-16 lead with a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 0:37 on the clock. While the defense generally played well Sunday and the Lions had a short field after the turnover, linebacker Anthony Barr said they needed to be kept out of the end zone near the end.

“We just have to continue to be better in those end-of-game situations and try not to be in those positions where we have to put something together in 30 seconds to win the game,” Barr said.

Taking over at their 18 with 37 seconds left, the Vikings gained 46 yards on three plays to set the stage for Joseph’s winning kick.


Vikings rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw played his first NFL snaps from scrimmage on Sunday, but Zimmer was noncommittal about how much action he will get moving forward.

Darrisaw, the No. 23 pick in the draft, who made his overall NFL debut against Cleveland with one play on special teams, got in for 28 plays against the Lions. Rashod Hill started for the fifth straight game and played 39 snaps as the Vikings rotated left tackles.

Zimmer said Darrisaw “did OK.” Will Zimmer need to make a decision this week on his left tackle for the game against the Panthers, or might he still rotate the two?

“We’ll see how the week goes, and we’ll decide from there,” Zimmer said.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hill had the second-worst grade against the Lions of any Minnesota offensive player at 54.2. Darrisaw had the third worst at 55.5.

“(Darrisaw) was pretty dialed in,” said Bradbury, in his third season. “So it’s good to see. I’ve been there before, it’s your first game playing and there’s a lot of moving pieces and it might feel like your head’s spinning, but I thought he looked composed and under control.”


Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen started Sunday for the first time this year and played a season-high 49 snaps, but Zimmer said that was too many.

“He probably played too much,” Zimmer said. “We’re trying to maintain him so … if we can keep him to 30, 35, we feel like we can maintain his athleticism, and power and things like that through the course of the year.”

Zimmer said Griffen “played really well.” He got the start over D.J. Wonnum, who was in for 40 snaps.

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Evers issues formal apology for Indian boarding schools



High school football: Ninth-ranked Woodbury rolls past Eagan 48-15


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers issued a formal apology Monday for Wisconsin’s role in Native American boarding schools, joining with leaders from tribes in the state at an Indigenous Peoples Day event.

Evers signed an executive order that also formally supported the previously announced U.S. Department of Interior investigation into the schools and asked that anything done in Wisconsin be conducted in consultation with the state’s tribes.

Wisconsin is home to 11 recognized American Indian tribes. Tribal representatives joined with Evers for the announcement in Oneida.

Starting with the Indian Civilization Act of 1819, the U.S. enacted laws and policies to establish and support Indian boarding schools across the nation. For over 150 years, Indigenous children were taken from their communities and forced into boarding schools that focused on assimilation.

Records show that Wisconsin was home to at least 10 day and boarding schools attended by thousands of American Indian children between the 1860s and 1970s, the governor’s office said. Additionally, hundreds of children were also sent from Wisconsin to attend out-of-state schools, the governor’s office said.

The lack of available and reliable documentation related to the schools makes it challenging to know the full scope of what happened in Wisconsin, Evers’ office said.

“As a state, we share responsibility for acknowledging the pain inflicted on Tribal communities historically and even still today,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “We also have a moral obligation to pursue the truth and to bring these injustices to light in Wisconsin and across our country because that understanding and acknowledgment is essential for accountability and healing.”

Tina Danforth, treasurer for the Oneida Nation Business Committee and former tribal chairperson, said at the event that the process of healing has to begin and part of that is recognizing the history, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“We can’t achieve the cycle of life unless we acknowledge the atrocities,” she said.

The executive order signed by Evers recognizes and apologizes “for the tragedies inflicted upon Native American communities through the former federal Indian boarding school policies.”

In 2019, Evers signed an executive order declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin, following similar moves in other states away from recognizing it as Columbus Day. It remains a federal holiday.

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Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds more flights, denies sickout



Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds more flights, denies sickout

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines canceled more than 350 flights Monday following a weekend of major disruptions that it blamed on bad weather and air traffic control issues. The pilots union accused the company of a botched response to what it said would have been a minor challenge for other airlines.

The third straight day of canceled and delayed flights left passengers stranded and steaming from California to the East Coast.

“You can’t really relax when you’re just sitting there waiting for your next flight to be canceled,” said Vanessa Wheeler, who was biding her time at the San Jose, California, airport. She said Southwest canceled six consecutive flights on her over three days before she eventually decided to book a flight home to Las Vegas with Delta Air Lines. She vowed to never fly Southwest again.

Monday’s cancellations amounted to 10% of Southwest’s schedule, and at least 1,400 other flights, or roughly 40%, were delayed, according to the FlightAware tracking service. Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. fell 4.2%.

The widespread disruptions began shortly after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, representing 9,000 pilots, asked a federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated. The union argued that Southwest must negotiate over the issue because it could involve sick leave or disability if pilots have a reaction to the vaccine.

“We are not anti-vaccination at all, but our pilots are extremely worried about how their medicals are going to be handled” if they are unable to fly, union president Casey Murray told The Associated Press. Murray said pilots had not staged a sickout because of the vaccine mandate.

He instead blamed the chaos of the past few days on Southwest’s operation, which he said has become “brittle” and “cracks under the slightest pressure.” He said the airline uses antiquated crew-scheduling technology that leads to cascading disruptions when flights are canceled in one part of its network.

Unions at both Southwest and American have also argued that management has been too slow to bring pilots back from leaves of absence that the airlines persuaded them to take during the pandemic, leaving them short-handed.

In a video for employees, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said that despite “a very aggressive hiring plan … we are still not where we want to be with staffing,” especially pilots.

The staffing shortage is leading to fewer flights. After massive delays this summer, Southwest trimmed its fall schedule, which Van de Ven said had helped reduce delays in the past month. He said Southwest has already made significant cuts in its original schedules for November and December, “and if we think we need to do more, we will.”

There is a risk to fewer flights, however: It leaves Southwest with fewer options to accommodate stranded passengers.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged delays in part of Florida on Friday but pushed back against Southwest’s air-traffic control explanation. The FAA said Sunday that “some airlines” were experiencing problems because of planes and crews being out of position. Southwest was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said there was no evidence that would indicate the disruptions were caused by any sort of employee protest over vaccinations.

Some passengers were frustrated not just by flight delays but also the lack of a clear reason for them.

“My concern is we had no explanation really that was, I feel, very legitimate or believable,” said Brian Gesch of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, who was traveling through Reagan Washington National Airport with his wife. He doubted that weather and air traffic controllers were the real issue. “So we are frustrated and missing a day of work.”

Others were just concerned about getting home — any way they could.

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No charges for task force members in Winston Smith death



No charges for task force members in Winston Smith death


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Winston Smith Jr., a Black man who was killed while authorities were trying to arrest him as he sat in an SUV at a Minneapolis parking ramp, a prosecutor announced Monday.

Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan said in letters dated last Wednesday that the task force members were justified in using deadly force when they shot Smith on June 3 as they tried to detain him for allegedly being a felon in possession of a firearm. The central Minnesota prosecutor reviewed the case because prosecutors in the Twin Cities area had conflicts of interest and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced the decision Monday.

Ryan said task force members were identifiable as law enforcement, told Smith he was under arrest and ordered him out of the vehicle. Ryan said Smith didn’t comply and as task force members tried to enter the SUV, “Smith initiated a deadly force confrontation … by drawing his handgun and firing.”

“Though I am unable to determine who fired first, it is irrelevant in this case,” Ryan wrote. “Once an individual initiates a deadly force confrontation, a law enforcement officer does not have to wait to be shot/shot at before reacting.” He said task force members’ actions were reasonable, justified and “in response to an apparent threat of death or great bodily harm.”

Smith, 32, of St. Paul, was in a parked SUV when he was shot. The U.S. Marshals Service said at the time that he didn’t comply and “produced a handgun resulting in task force members firing.”

Ryan said the task force used lights and sirens as they boxed in the SUV, wore clearly marked tactical vests and gave numerous commands for Smith to keep his hands visible as he did something with his phone. Ryan said Smith didn’t comply for “several minutes.” As law enforcement began to break a window, Smith looked at them “with a look of annoyance/disgust on his face.”

Ryan said Smith then dropped his phone, twisted his body and leaned into the back seat. He was told to stop reaching and recoiled into the driver’s seat when a task force member yelled “don’t do it,” then “gun, gun, gun,” Ryan wrote. That task force member then fired at Smith. Another pulled a handgun and began firing.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Smith was shot multiple times.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and an activist against police violence, said he’s not surprised. “There is absolutely no confidence that county prosecutors can fully bring forth justice against law enforcement,” he said.

A woman who was in the SUV with Smith has said through her attorneys that law enforcement officers were not in uniform and did not identify themselves when they surrounded the SUV with guns drawn. Norhan Askar also said that she never saw a gun on Smith or in his vehicle, and that he was shot after he raised a cellphone to begin recording.

Ryan said a handgun, and six spent cartridge cases that came from that weapon, were found inside the vehicle. Tests showed bullet fragments also had been fired from that gun.

Minneapolis was already on edge following the death of George Floyd more than a year earlier, and the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in nearby Brooklyn Center in April. Smith’s death led to protests in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood, including one in which a woman was killed when a man who was visibly intoxicated drove into protesters.

Authorities said at the time there was no video of the shooting, and the lack of body camera footage raised questions as Smith’s family and activists demanded transparency. Local officials said the deputies on the task force were assigned body cameras, but were told by the U.S. Marshals Service that they could not use them, despite an October 2020 change in Justice Department policy that would have allowed their use.

But Ryan wrote that there is body camera footage of Askar, recorded immediately after the shooting. Ryan said Askar said in the video it “happened really fast where a bunch of officers came out of nowhere” and told them to put their hands up. In the video, described by Ryan, Askar said she put her hands up and pleaded with Smith to do the same, but Smith would not, saying he did not want to go back to jail and he was “going to die.”

Ryan said Askar also gave a statement to state investigators saying she did not remember seeing a gun in Smith’s vehicle.

The task force members who shot Smith included a Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputy and a Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputy. Their names were not released because they were working undercover.

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St. Paul district releases plans to close, repurpose several schools



St. Paul district releases plans to close, repurpose several schools

St. Paul Public Schools on Monday unveiled plans to close and merge several buildings mired by declining enrollment as early as next fall.

Superintendent Joe Gothard said the consolidation will save some money, but the main goal is to create large enough schools that each can offer a well-rounded education, with classes in the arts, sciences and various support staff.

The school board is holding a special meeting on the plan Monday. The district plans to hold a series of meetings with affected schools before the school board votes on the plan either Nov. 16 or Dec. 14.

The plans, which will affect 9 percent of students in the district, are summarized below:


After a nine-year experiment, the district is giving up on Montessori middle school.

Parkway opened as a Montessori school in 2013 but never came close to filling the building. Turner said that while Nokomis Elementary students typically followed the Montessori pathway to Parkway, JJ Hill families picked other schools.

Chief Academic Officer Kate Wilcox-Harris said Parkway was among the first Montessori middle schools in the country and struggled to find teachers with the appropriate licenses.


Parkway would remain open, however, reborn as the district’s first middle school for Hmong Dual Immersion.

The move to create a middle school pathway for the program comes with a consolidation at the elementary level.

Jackson Elementary would close, sending its 159 Hmong language students to Phalen Lake. Jackson’s 143 students who are not in the language program would be steered to Maxfield.


Obama Elementary, dramatically underutilized with 313 students, would close next fall for a renovation. When it reopens, it would house a regular middle school in one half of the building and a Montessori elementary school in the other.

Its Montessori students would from JJ Hill, which would close, and Cherokee Heights, which would become a regular community school. JJ Hill would only close once the Obama renovation is complete.

Turner said families in the Cherokee Heights neighborhood aren’t particularly interested in the Montessori model.


The two East Side campuses of L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion would consolidate. Closing the lower campus and sending those students to the upper campus would put the new school at 77 percent of building capacity, with 364 students, according to fall 2020 enrollment.

Chief Operating Officer Jackie Turner said L’Etoile du Nord once was “one of our top-choice schools,” but demand fell when the district opened Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion.

Wellstone Elementary would close and send its Spanish Dual Immersion students to Riverview, which will become solely an immersion school. Wellstone’s Biosmart students would be steered toward a community school or science magnet.

Riverview students who aren’t in the immersion program would be steered to Cherokee Heights.


Fulfilling a merger that the school board narrowly rejected in 2016, Galtier Elementary would close and send its 189 students to Hamline. Galtier could become a hub for early childhood programs.

John A Johnson, with 299 students last year, would close and merge with nearby Bruce Vento Elementary next fall. Meanwhile, the district would begin designing a new school on the Bruce Vento site; the district recently scrapped plans to renovate the building because of high cost estimates.

Facilities Director Tom Parent said Bruce Vento is one of the few sites in the district where he can build a new school without disrupting ongoing classes.


Highwood Hills Elementary, with 192 students last year, would close. The nearest elementary schools for those students are Dayton’s Bluff and Battle Creek.

Turner said many families with East African roots live in apartments close to Highwood Hills and use the building’s rec center, but they’re enrolling in charter schools instead.


LEAP High School, which serves students new to the country, would close. Its 144 students could enroll in language programs at other high schools.


The district has watched enrollment fall for several years, due in large part to increased competition from charter schools. Yet, the district has added to its portfolio.

As total enrollment dropped by 3,526 students between 2014 and 2020, the district opened two more buildings. It bought E-STEM Middle School in Woodbury and built the K-12 special education school RiverEast, moving Jie Ming out of Hamline and into RiverEast’s old location.

This year, the district started an online school in response to parent demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic. It has around 1,300 students, and the district is considering keeping it open to all grades permanently — not just high schoolers, as initially planned.

Turner said the district has no immediate plans to sell any of the schools it’s vacating. District leaders hope the reorganization will create the kind of schools that families want, which will create demand for more.

“We believe that if we build a strong program, they will come,” she said.

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John Shipley: Did Bashaud Breeland give Vikings fans the shaft?



John Shipley: Did Bashaud Breeland give Vikings fans the shaft?

It isn’t easy for an NFL team to overshadow its own last-second victory on a 54-yard field goal, but let’s not put anything past the 2021 Minnesota Vikings. It had already been a weird season, and it got weirder on Sunday.

What happened in the immediate wake of the Vikings’ 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium wasn’t necessarily more interesting than the game — the Vikings blew a 10-point lead in the final 3:17, then erased a one-point deficit in the final 37 seconds — but it was more curious.

First, quarterback Kirk Cousins got in the face of Mike Zimmer, grabbed him by the sweatshirt and shoved him so hard it seemed to take the head coach by surprise. Zimmer gave it right back.

Not much later, cornerback Bashaud Breeland used Twitter to tell Vikings fans they should shut the front door, a post that landed — according to screenshots — at 3:40 p.m., about 43 minutes after Greg Joseph drilled a 54-yard field goal to lift the Vikings past winless Detroit. The tweet was quickly deleted.

The video of the awkward exchange between Cousins and Zimmer circulating online was fascinating; the more one watched it, the odder it became. Why did Cousins punch his coach in the chest? Was Zimmer frowning? Why did that assistant pull Zimmer away?

Block or charge? Targeting or good, hard play?

Later, a different angle and closer shot seemed to reveal a smile on Zimmer’s face, and asked about it during Monday’s regular media session, the coach explained it was just Cousins “doing exactly what I want him to do.”

“He’s being a leader, he’s being vocal, he’s showing emotion,” Zimmer said. “I’ve been talking to him about it all year.”

He likened it to former quarterback Sam Bradford, who could make the often sedate Cousins seem ebullient, tackling him during an August 2017 preseason practice in Mankato.

“No different,” Zimmer said, “… because I was trying to get him to be the same thing. So you know, (Cousins) came over and said, ‘You like that?’ And kind of gave me a shove, and I shoved him back, and it was all good.”

So, no harm, no foul. Mystery solved. The Breeland incident isn’t so easily explained away. If you haven’t seen the since-deleted tweet, suffice to say that had you posted it, you would have been fired Monday morning.

Asked if Breeland would be disciplined, Zimmer said, “We’ll handle it.”

If the Vikings weren’t so thin at cornerback — Cameron Dantzler and Harrison Hand missed the Lions game while on the COVID-19 injured list — maybe they would release Breeland. A vulgar tweet insulting a team’s fans isn’t a good look for any team, but especially one trying to recover from a 1-3 start, and especially from a player who hasn’t been very good.

Breeland agreed to talk to reporters ahead of Sunday’s game last Friday and immediately was peppered with questions about his erratic play. At one point, he was asked bluntly whether he was embarrassed to be ranked the NFL’s worst cornerback by Pro Football Focus. He didn’t take it well and immediately indicated his displeasure with that question, and later with others.

“We need some better questions,” he said.

Zimmer said he thought Breeland played well on Sunday, and that the free agent acquisition’s unfortunate tweet was aimed at a specific reporter.

“I think if I was asked the question by that reporter that he was asked the other day, (about) being embarrassed and 103rd of PFF, I might go off on him too,” he said.

When it was suggested Breeland’s tweet was aimed at fans who booed the team on Sunday — he used the second-person plural — Zimmer disagreed.

“Yeah,” the coach said. “I don’t think it was.”

Unfortunately, many Vikings fans think it was. At any rate, can’t wait to see what’s next.

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