Minneapolis police union pushes back on Freeman criticism

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

MPR’s Riham Feshir reports, “[Mike] Freeman said several officers’ refusals to be interviewed in his investigation forced him to convene a grand jury — which has subpoena powers to compel witnesses to testify — as an investigative tool in the case. But Minneapolis police officers and union officials said that this was not about a ‘blue wall of silence.’ Instead, they say, in going directly to officers instead of through the department, the prosecutor skirted a process that would have offered them immunity from prosecution, if their testimony became incriminating. And in refusing to be interviewed, they said, officers were exercising their right under a federal law that protects public employees from criminal prosecution.” 

This guy. Muhktar Ibrahim at MPR says: “A group calling itself Understanding the Threat is coming to the Twin Cities early next month to host an event dubbed ‘Understanding the Threat of Islam to America’ featuring an ex-FBI agent considered an anti-Muslim extremist by a national organization that tracks hate groups. John Guandolo and another speaker claim that they will reveal details about ‘the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, their doctrine (sharia), modus operandi, and how they have penetrated our American system at the local, state, and national level’, according to the event’s registration page posted on the conservative Christian website Worldview Weekend. It’s not yet clear who’s sponsoring the April 8 event at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington.”

Sorry kid, they’re not going to let you forget this one. From a PiPress story: “A 17-year-old Monticello, Minn., girl taking her driver’s license road test crashed through the wall of the exam building, injuring the woman who was giving her the test. The girl was in the process of taking the test Wednesday afternoon in Buffalo, Minn., when she inadvertently put the car in drive instead of reverse, according to police. When she accelerated, the vehicle lurched forward, going over a curb and crashing through a wall of the building that houses the exam office, causing significant damage.”

Speaking of never-to-be-forgotten.  Says Nick Ferraro in the PiPress, “A Rosemount mother was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years’ probation Thursday for stealing nearly $9,000 intended for a senior party at Eastview High School. Jill Lynn Fiedler, 38, pleaded guilty in Dakota County district court to felony theft by temporary control for taking the money from October 2016 through February 2017. Prosecutors say Fiedler diverted more than half of the missing $8,700 to her PayPal account for Pure Romance, which sells adult sex toys. At the time, Fiedler was working as an independent contractor for the business.”

So down, but actually up? Says Dee DePass for the Strib, “Minnesota employers cut 1,300 jobs in February after hiring in record numbers in January, state officials announced Thursday. Minnesota’s unemployment rate slid 0.1 percentage points last month to 3.2 percent, which was better than the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. While February’s job losses — particularly the 4,600 lost in the professional services sector — were a disappointment, state officials noted that February’s decline “was more than offset by a revision in January’s figure. January figures were revised to show 4,900 job gains, up from the previously reported 2,500 positions.”

Suing the cops. Stephen Montemayor of the Strib has a story saying, “Myriam Parada was driving her younger relatives home from a birthday party one evening last summer when a driver rear-ended her car as they waited at a red light. By sundown, the 21-year-old Ramsey woman was in jail. By morning, she was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the outset of a still-ongoing fight against her deportation. On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU) announced a federal lawsuit on Parada’s behalf against the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and Coon Rapids Police Department for allegedly unlawfully detaining Parada based on her ‘race and national origin.’”

Forget that early spring thing. Says Paul Huttner at MPR, “A rain/snow mix is expected to enter southwestern Minnesota Friday morning, then spread northeastward through the day. The mix could change to all snow in the west Friday evening, and during Friday night to the east. The snow is expected to continue overnight Friday night and taper of Saturday morning. … I wouldn’t be surprised if the far northeastern part of the Twin Cities metro area only sees an inch or two of snow from the storm, while five to eight inches of snow accumulate in some parts of the far southwest metro from Friday night through early Saturday. Any metro area snow should hold off until sometime Friday evening.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 03/23/2018 - 09:40 am.

    About that law

    The Garrity law comes from a 1961 case in which a New Jersey police officer was threatened with dismissal if he didn’t answer investigators’ questions. He was ultimately forced to submit to an interview, and his statements from that investigation were used against him. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that the officer’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and his superiors’ insistence that he be interviewed had forced him into an impossible situation: To choose between his job or his right to remain silent.

    Now, all public employees, when compelled to answer questions by their employers during any type of investigation, must be given the Garrity warning. Employers are required to inform the employee that their answers cannot be used against them in criminal proceedings.

    From the Strib article.

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