11/6/2007 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Pasta Bar Fundraiser for Critical Mass Arrestees
  • Got Free Speech? Not for Much Longer if the City Council Has Their Way
  • Book by Local Truth Teller Cop Mike Quinn Exposes Police Code of Silence
  • DOJ Releases Report on Deaths During Arrests
  • Another Stolen Life: Randy Gallmeyer

PASTA BAR FUNDRAISER FOR CRITICAL MASS ARRESTEES

(Vegan and Meat Choices Available)
Friday, November 9
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
$7 for adults, $4 for children

We're throwing a little party to raise funds for the Critical Mass arrestees legal fund. Come get your fill of delicious pasta with your choice of sauces, salad, garlic bread and dessert, all for a great cause. So far, five of the arrestees have been charged, some with serious offenses. It appears that people with histories of activism are being most heavily targeted. In one case, the prosecution tried to get the arrestee to take a deal specifically not to protest the RNC, so the agenda behind these prosecutions is pretty clear. Stand up with these arrestees and have a great meal and a great time, too. If you aren't able to attend but still want to contribute, go to the new Donations page on our website at and designate Critical Mass Arrestees as the fund you want to donate to: http://www.charityadvantage.com/CUAPB/DonateHere.asp


GOT FREE SPEECH?

If You Want to Keep It, Better Use It Soon

The Minneapolis City Council's so-called Free Speech Working Group will be meeting on Wednesday, November 14th at 11:00 a.m. in City Hall, room 333. At this meeting, the working group will be taking up a number of proposed ordinance changes that, while targeted at the RNC protests, will likely impact our ability to exercise free speech and redress the government for years. Previous proposals on the table included onerous permit processes and would have banned downtown protests from 7-9 a.m. and from 4-6 p.m. If you care about the right to protest, make it your business to be at that meeting.


LOCAL TRUTH-TELLER COP MIKE QUINN HITS THE ROAD WITH HIS BOOK

Police Code of Silence Exposed
By ROBIN FITZGERALD
October 17, 2007
http://www.sunherald.com/201/story/166033.html

GULFPORT -- Police can avoid the code of silence by holding each other accountable for their actions.

That, according to Michael W. Quinn, is how officers build trust in their communities and spare themselves and their families the disgrace that comes with criminal convictions or firings over misconduct.

"A good cop doesn't cover for another officer," Quinn told 175 Gulfport police officers in an ethics class last week. "A good cop steps in and says 'stop' and doesn't try to cover anything up.

"No matter what, it's not OK to lie to get the job done."

Quinn, a retired Minneapolis police veteran, is an ethics trainer, community college instructor and author of a book on the code of silence, "Walking With the Devil: What Bad Cops Don't Want You to Know and Good Cops Won't Tell You."

The code of silence is unwritten but real, said Quinn in four-hour sessions that count toward the Gulfport officers' annual training requirements. Quinn said he hopes the lessons have a lasting positive impact.

Quinn said he realizes talk about the code of silence "strikes a raw nerve in Harrison County." He was referring to a former county jailer's recent conviction on a death under color of law and guilty pleas of nine others in a conspiracy to deprive inmates' civil and constitutional rights. All 10 will be sentenced next month.

"It was an aberration," said Quinn, noting he occasionally hears of similar cases, but seldom involving as many officers over a prolonged period.

"It's a blot on Mississippi. I'm not saying they were all bad (officers). Something should have been done to stop it when it started, but people let it go on."

Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford read Quinn's book shortly after he was sworn in Feb. 6, 2006. That was the day Jessie Lee Williams Jr., arrested two days earlier by Gulfport police, died of injuries from an unprovoked assault by a booking officer at the jail. A Gulfport officer was among several officers and jailers who witnessed the beating. Federal prosecutors have said a pattern of abuse existed at the jail for at least five years.

Weatherford said Quinn's book had such a profound effect on him that he uses scenarios on the code of silence when he questions job applicants.

Weatherford said he has fired eight officers for various reasons since he's been chief. "It's something I lose sleep over," he said, "but I can't tolerate misconduct."

Quinn told the officers their job is "to protect and serve, not to arrest and incarcerate."

Afterward, Quinn said he was impressed with the Gulfport officers and their leaders.

"Only a small percentage of cops nationwide are accused of criminal acts," he said. "Cops make mistakes. They're human. But it's an important job. It can be dangerous. It's a job that calls for strength and honor. They deserve all the help they can get to do their best."


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT RELEASES REPORT ON DEATHS DURING ARRESTS

Over 2000 People Killed Between 2003 and 2005

The U.S. Justice Department has confirmed what we already knew--death at the hands of police has become an epidemic. If you haven't already, you're going to want to download the just-released DOJ report Arrest-Related Deaths in the United States, 2003-2005. This report shows that 2002 people were killed by cops in that 3 year period, with 55% resulting from homicide by police officer. There is also an important section on deaths caused by Tasers. Bear in mind that this figure does not include deaths in jails and that the deaths may actually be underreported because of the way the DOJ found the reports.

The URL for a PDF version of the report itself is http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ardus05.pdf A related report of statistical tables of deaths in prisons and jails is at http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/dcrp/dcrp_tables.pdf


ANOTHER STOLEN LIFE: MAN DIES IN RAMSEY CTY JAIL FROM LACK OF MEDICAL CARE

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the same jail that killed Maria Inamagua by denying her medical care and the same jail this organization has visited on a number of occasions to bring letters demanding medical attention for other inmates. This jail should be shut down and all administrators and employees associated with these deaths should be prosecuted.

Ramsey Co. inmates parents plan wrongful-death lawsuit
By Joy Powell, Star Tribune
November 01, 2007

Randy Gallmeyer was arrested on an alcohol-related charge the evening of Oct. 19. Within 36 hours, at 7 a.m. Sunday, Ramsey County jail guards found him unconscious in his cell and had him transported to Regions Hospital. He died Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Now, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said late Wednesday, the sheriff’s office is investigating how Gallmeyer, a diabetic, may have died and exactly how much jailers should have known about his medical needs. Also investigating, Fletcher said, is the Minnesota Health Department, which employs the nurses that work in the jail.

Gallmeyer, 46, of St. Paul, was booked into the Ramsey County jail just before 8 p.m. on suspicion of refusing to take a drunk-driving test when he was stopped while riding his scooter, jail records show.

His mother, Elenora Gallmeyer, told a Minneapolis television station that their son was diabetic and that family members had taken his medicine to the jail before he lapsed into a diabetic coma.

On Wednesday night, Fletcher said he was unaware of that until it was reported by FOX 9 News.

“The parents have not contacted my office regarding this matter, so that was the first I had heard of that allegation,” the sheriff said. “But we certainly hope to reach out to them and find out any information they have regarding the medication.

“He did see the nurses on Saturday,” Fletcher continued. “All of these issues will be part of our internal investigation as well. But at this point, the medical examiner has not determined the cause of death. It would be inappropriate for us to comment until one, we know the cause of death, and two, have had about a week’s worth of time to investigate the circumstances.”

The TV station reported that Gallmeyer’s parents, Bernie and Elenora, intend to file a wrongful-death suit.

“We’re taking it seriously,” Fletcher said. “We’ve begun an administrative investigation and we hope to be in contact with the family to determine some additional facts that we might now have.”

The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office said toxicology tests are pending.

“It’s too early for me to make any definitive comments,” Fletcher said. “We’ll have to have an investigation of our staff conduct, and the Health Department will need to investigate the nursing staff. And we’ll need to hear from the mother to determine what time it was that she allegedly alerted the deputies to the severity of his health issues.”

The sheriff said Gallmeyer was intoxicated when he came into the jail’s custody.


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