WCCO speaks to ‘girlfriend’ in Jamar Clark case

This raises some questions about the prevailing narrative in the Jamar Clark case. WCCO’s Reg Chapman spoke with the woman who has been referred to in many reports as Jamar Clark’s girlfriend — a characterization she rejects: “She says the investigators’ description of her role that evening is wrong. She was not dating Clark, and there was not a domestic dispute. … ‘I didn’t call and say, “Come and shoot him,” or none of that,’ RayAnn Hayes said. ‘They have no reason to come and be combative at all, because they didn’t get a call like that. Not from me.’ … Hayes says she’s worried for her safety, and didn’t want her face shown on camera.”

There are probably liability reasons for the argument, but this not exactly the kind of support you’d hope for from your employer. In the Pioneer Press, Josh Verges writes: “St. Paul Public Schools said in a court filing Thursday that a Central High School teacher is to blame for any injuries he suffered Dec. 4 while intervening in a student fight at the school. … Science teacher John Ekblad alleges the school district, Superintendent Valeria Silva and assistant superintendent Theresa Battle failed to protect him despite knowing the school and the student who attacked him were ‘dangerous.’ … In their response to the complaint, the school district asserted that any injuries Ekblad sustained ‘were due to, caused by and solely the result of (Ekblad’s) own carelessness, negligence, fault and other unlawful conduct.’”

At last, Minneapolitans will be freed from the terrible burden of deciding: Paper or Plastic? The Star Tribune’s Erin Golden writes: “The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to ban plastic bags, with some exceptions, starting June 1, 2017. … In addition, customers might find themselves charged a nickel for paper bags, though businesses will have an option to eat that fee themselves. … The plastic bag ban, which passed on a 10-3 vote, was drafted by Council Members Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame, who said they’re looking to change consumers’ habits in order to get the city closer to its zero-waste goals.”

University of St. Thomas law professor Mark Osler is on today’s New York Times opinion page, explaining what he sees as “Obama’s Clemency Problem.” He writes: “In the spring of 2014, the Obama administration announced an initiative to consider granting clemency to thousands of federal prisoners serving what Mr. Obama called ‘unjust’ sentences for low-level drug crimes. Federal prisoners were notified of the project, and more than 30,000 responded by submitting surveys to begin the process. … Despite the relatively high number of commutations that Mr. Obama has now granted, there are still more than 9,000 pending commutation cases, many of the sort singled out in the 2014 initiative as potentially worthy. So why has the president acted on so few?” 

In other news…

Who feels bad for the health insurance industry? “Losses widen for health insurers in Minnesota’s individual market” [Star Tribune]

The Glean

Did the Lex get a bad rap? “Black club owner says city of St. Paul is discriminating against him” [City Pages]

Mumps outbreak in North Dakota. Yep, mumps. [AP via WCCO]

A story about mussels, but not the invasive kind: “Minnesota Zoo Helping DNR Raise Endangered Animals for Release in Waterways” [KSTP]

Getting to be that time of year: “Twins Announce Plans For 2016 Home Opener” [WCCO]

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/01/2016 - 01:42 pm.

    Hazard Pay

    From the MPR story on the subject (http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/04/01/st-paul-schools-fault-teacher-for-attack-that-prompted-lawsuit):

    “The response denies that the district is guilty of any negligence and says Ekblad assumed a risk of damages when he started employment with the St. Paul district.”

    So . . . . . does this mean they’re going to start paying teachers hazard pay . . . . and what a delightful way to encourage new people to enter the profession . . . . . .

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/01/2016 - 03:25 pm.

      Hazard Pay

      Thank you, Mr. Berg. I’m trying to imagine the fine print in the teacher’s contract, the legalese equivalent of:

      1. We expect you to break up fights as part of your normal teaching/supervisory duties.

      2. If you get punched in the face, or incur other injuries in the course of carrying out the normal duties enumerated above, you will not hold the School District responsible or accountable for those injuries.

      Yes, indeed. I can see the lines of excited applicants, eager to pay their own medical expenses (#2) if they’re attacked while performing Duty #1, and/or losing their newly-acquired job if they decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and instead of breaking up fights, they’re better off if they simply stand aside to let the fight reach its organic conclusion, be that fatality, critical injury, or merely hurt feelings. Always good to know your employer has your back, especially when carrying out responsibilities that same employer expects you to carry out.

      “Catch-22” is among my all-time favorite novels…

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 04/01/2016 - 05:21 pm.

      No hazard pay. Perhaps they’re referring to specific actions the teacher took but I’ve haven’t seen that.

      So, in the absence of improper actions they are telling teachers that, in the event of a disruption, to turn their backs and ignore it. To let innocent students get injured by those who might victimize them. To turn St. Paul public schools into Lord of the Flies II.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/01/2016 - 01:44 pm.

    Wrong link

    The link in “Did the Lex get a bad rap?” redirects to the article about the Zoo raising mussels for release into waterways.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/01/2016 - 07:48 pm.

    Obama’s Rate of Granting Clemency

    already well ahead of his predecessors,…

    is likely to speed up markedly AFTER the fall election,…

    when the GOP can no longer use it in “Willie Horton”- type freak-you-out,…

    guilt by association ads,…

    against the Democratic candidate for president.

  4. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 04/02/2016 - 09:09 am.

    Which narrative?

    RayeAnn Hayes’s changing stories demonstrate why eye-witness testimony is so unreliable. If someone directly and immediately involved in the case has no consistent version of what actually happened, how much value can there be in the claims of latecomer bystanders, let alone outsiders?

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/02/2016 - 10:25 am.

      Agreed. Not only was everybody at that party drunk (self-reportedly) and/or high, this victim-witness seems to have had personal reasons to blur what happened to her there and long months to suffer community pressure, to make her statements coincide with what certain movement advocates would like her to have told the authorities.Heer “story” is all over the place and self-contradictory in this, that, and the other way. I feel so sad for her; she’s so obviously spinning her wheels trying to make her “story” sound reasonable and get out of the hot seat that the community, not the media, have put her in.

  5. Submitted by Jim Million on 04/02/2016 - 09:49 am.

    Oh, Please, Glean

    The 911 server has the call on record.
    This is so gratuitous in keeping the story up on the page.

    EMT was dispatched to aid an injury victim.
    The police officers were later dispatched to aid the EMT crew, were they not? All subsequent events followed from that second dispatch.

    Time to give it up…

  6. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 04/02/2016 - 11:01 am.

    Insurer “losses”

    The report about insurer losses doesn’t say anything about how much health insurers are making overall. I haven’t heard of any health insurers going bankrupt lately so they must be making plenty in their other lines, e.g. group plans. Does the Dept. of Commerce conduct any rate reviews that looks into rate structures? I’ve never heard of it. My understanding is that rate approval is more rubber stamp-like, unlike the regulation of public utilities where the entire operation is examined and rates for classes of customers are equalized, with each class bearing its “just and reasonable” share of the joint and common costs. Rate cases are always fights among customer classes about improper cross subsidies among classes. Sometimes these claims are true. How does anyone know that these health insurers are simply allocating some ridiculous joint and common cost of operation onto the “individual market” to justify rate increases onto the individual customer class?

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 04/02/2016 - 06:07 pm.

      No Rubber Stamp

      Rate reviews, particularly in health insurance requests, are very closely scrutinized
      in Minnesota. The process from the Departmental end can be rather political as well as financial. Sometimes it’s a slap on the hand, pretty much never a rubber stamp on the request.

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