11/2/2006 Newsletter


  • Intrigue and Fall Out Around the Dolan Appointment
  • Stolen Lives


Folks, it's happening already--and so soon!  We thought they would at least wait a few weeks before rolling out the full measure of this new culture of brutal thugism and police unaccountability, as inflicted on us by our city council.  But, alas, the average thumper cop on the street has new-found energy now that a major proponent of said culture has been inserted into the chief's slot.  Let's take a look at certain events surrounding the appointment and consider what they mean to folks who would prefer to get through their days without getting clobbered by a cop.

Broken Promises: Remember that promise by Dolan to the Felder family that there will be a "thorough investigation" of the shooting death of Dominic, unarmed and suffering from mental illness when he was callously gunned down by two boys in blue?  Well, that was candidate Dolan.  Now that we're dealing with chief Dolan, that deal is apparently off the table.  When the family called over to headquarters to check on the progress of the promised investigation, they were told by multiple people that the investigation is "on hold" because the case is "too high profile."

"We Will Remove You":  Also in the days leading up to the Dolan vote, Minneapolis Police Federation officials met with council member Ralph Remington to "persuade" him to get on board with their agenda.  One of the officials told him that if he doesn't do what the Federation tells him to, he would "be removed."  Given the history of Federation attacks on past black city council members, it doesn't take much time to imagine the short list of what that means.  And does anyone else see a problem with having guys who get paid to carry guns and who head a powerful outfit like the Federation threatening our elected officials?

"You are hereby placed on notice" 1:  As if to punctuate the "we run the streets" tone of the Federation's meeting with Remington, Federation attorney Jim Michels sent a letter threatening to sue the city.  In it, he assails council members Glidden, Gordon and Hodges for their "so called 'reform' agenda" and, especially, the provision calling for separation of managers from rank and file employees in the Federation.  If any such move is made, the Federation promises to "promptly and aggressively exercise its legal rights under Minnesota Law for injunctive relief and monetary damages" and adds that "this includes any effort to make support of this agenda item a condition of employment for Chief Dolan."  So, apparently, the Federation even represents candidates for chief in their employment negotiations.  Isn't that cozy? 

As a parting shot, Michels castigates Civil Rights Director Michael Browne while purporting to represent the interests of the community.  "Although Mr. Browne and his disciples clearly believe that the biggest threat to public safety in Minneapolis is the Police Department, the residents and visitors to Minneapolis would be better served if the City's elected officials" would have love fests with the cops, blah, blah, blah ad nauseam.  Be clear on this: Rice, Michels & Walther law firm represents the interests of the Federation, interests that are very different from those of the community, especially those sections of the community most likely to be on the receiving end of a Taser, billy club or steel-toed boot.

"You are hereby placed on notice" 2:  To add insult to Remington's injury, he also received a poison pen letter from Michels, who ripped into him for supposedly saying that "an attorney for the Federation stated publicly that police officers should use deadly force more often" during a committee meeting.  Michels goes on to explain that at some continuing ed seminar he gave for lawyers and cops he said, "Given the screaming headlines whenever a law enforcement officer uses deadly force, one would think officers kill people all the time.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The real truth is that police officers use deadly force far too little."  His presentation then cites statistics meant to show that cops have a dangerous job and that they only kill "fewer than 370 felons" a year as proof that cops use deadly force too little.  [A skewed statistic, by the way, since most of the people killed by cops aren't felons--in fact they aren't even criminals at all.]   Now this editor is no legal expert but it's probably not a stretch to think that if someone says someone is doing "far too little" of something, they are calling on them to do more of it. Nonetheless, Michels threatened Remington with legal action for "directly or indirectly inferring" that he or the rest of his crew "advocate for police officers to shoot more people."

I Heart the CRA (better ask yourself why):  A minute or so after being appointed chief, Dolan sent a subtle but unmistakable message of how he plans to handle the Civilian Review Authority.  He told the Minneapolis Observer that "negotiations with the CRA would eventually limit sustained complaints to those that would qualify for discipline under the police department's regulations."  What he's referring to is the provision in the newly passed ordinance that allows him to throw back to the CRA any sustained complaints he doesn't like.  Even if the case is re-sustained by the board, he can still choose to ignore it.  In other words, his way of handling CRA complaints will simply be to "negotiate" which ones the CRA board sustains.

To underscore this point, at last night's CRA board meeting the city attorney presented two memos.  Both concerned the powers of the CRA.  The first memo asserts that the ordinance change that tells the chief to rely on the findings of the CRA investigation to make discipline decisions is not really what it says and that the police chief is free to re-investigate sustained CRA cases and include that and other information in his disciplinary decisions.  In other words, the CRA working group members who swore up and down that the new ordinance language made the CRA the final arbiter of complaints were either duped or terribly naive.  This is all the more interesting in light of Dolan's position that he will "negotiate" with the CRA on what cases to sustain.  Sounds like the powers of the CRA took a giant step backward.

The second memo by the city attorney concerns the "firewall" between the CRA and the Civil Rights department that oversees the CRA.  That firewall is important for fairness to both the complainant and the cop since it prevents information from one investigation lapping into another (if there is both a CRA and civil rights complaint on the same incident) and keeps the city attorney's office from "mining" CRA files for ways to charge people for crimes.  In this second memo, the city attorney talks about whether the director of the Civil Rights department has a place at the table during CRA non-public meetings during which cases are discussed.

Folks, here's the interesting part: while the city attorney's office writes memos about whether the Civil Rights director should hear information about CRA cases, that same city attorney sits at the table during those non-public CRA meetings.  It is completely possible that some of these complaints are about incidents for which the city is being sued.  It is also completely possible that the city attorney's office is prosecuting some of the people who filed those complaints, as they often do as a pre-emptive strike to prevent lawsuits.  Isn't it just the slightest bit of conflict of interest to have the city attorney at these discussions?  Where's your memo about that, Ms. City Attorney?

One final but important point about the memos:  One was written at the request of deputy chief Sharon Lubinski and during the CRA board meeting observers definitely had the sense that she and the city attorney were a tag team.  Between the chief's plan to "negotiate" which cases he'll allow the CRA to sustain, the city attorney's biased advice and Lubinski's role agitating from the inside, one could definitely conclude that the CRA's days as an independent agency are numbered.  A damned shame, and brought about by the naive and foolish actions of certain of our own city council members.

Meanwhile, the Phone Never Stops:   In the meantime, calls to our hotline are escalating greatly.  We are now getting the number of calls in a day that we used to get in a week--and that doesn't count the people who contact us through email or the web.  Clearly, the thumpers on the force have gotten the word that it's open season on people of color, poor people and others.  God help us all.

And now, a reminder of why we do this work.
Every year as part of our October 22nd activities, we take time to remember the stolen lives of people who have died at the hands of police and other law enforcement agencies around Minnesota.  This year, we made a concerted effort to research the list of stolen lives around the state.  While our research continues, we share the following list with you.  One caveat: In many cases, the only information available is through newspapers and other mainstream media.  These media tend to report the official police version of the story, to the exclusion of other witnesses or perspectives.  Through these reports, it may appear that the killing was justified.  However, since the official explanations in these cases tend to repeat themselves so often and the victim is no longer able to tell their side of the story, we include all cases for which we are able to identify a name.  If you are aware of other cases that are not part of this list, please let us know.  This list is current as of October 28 and does not include the most recent Minneapolis stolen life, which we are still investigating.

Zachary J. Adrian
October 24, 2005
New Ulm
Zachary was killed during a high-speed chase with police.  He was 27 years old.

Chris Anderson
April 16, 2005
Chris, 33, went into respiratory and cardiac arrest while handcuffed.  He had caused a disturbance at a bar and had been held down by bar patrons until police arrived.  It was unclear if Taser or pepper spray were used during the arrest.

Shaun Askelin
May 3, 2005
St. Paul
Shaun developed medical symptoms while in the Ramsey County jail.  Sheriff's deputies claim he stopped breathing before they could get him to an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  He was 42 at the time of death.

Louis W. Barrett Jr.
October 25, 2006
Red Lake Indian Reservation
Louis, 20, was shot and killed by Red Lake police while searching his home at 5:45 a.m.  Police claim he had a knife and meat cleaver.  The FBI is investigating the shooting.

Charles Berry
March 11, 1995
Wright County
After being beaten in Wright County jail he was found hanged.  His death is considered suspicious as the family had seen him two hours earlier and he was in good spirits.  He had many bruises on his head, shoulders and chest that are inconsistent with hanging.

Theodore Bobo
February 9, 1992
Theodore was involved in an altercation with his ex-girlfriend.  He was hugging her when five police officers broke into the house and shot Theodore 8 to 9 times.  All five officers were involved in the shooting.  His ex-girlfriend and other witnesses stated that it was unnecessary to shoot Theodore.  He was 24 years old.

Franklin J. Brown
May 15, 2005
Franklin, a 21-year-old American Indian man, was in his home on the White Earth reservation when police entered to conduct a search.  He was shot 17 times.  Some of the shots went through a closed door.  He was unarmed.

Walter C. "Wally" Burks
August 7, 2003
Wally entered a convenience store in downtown Minneapolis and asked repeatedly for help as he was experiencing chest pain.  Store clerks and customers called police but held Wally down on the floor until police arrived.  Police used Freeze Plus P (combination pepper spray and tear gas) and Taser on Wally, who was incoherent and unresponsive.  He was placed face down on the seat of the squad car and left that way for 27 minutes.  He was dead on arrival at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Christopher Burns
November 1, 2002
Minneapolis police violently ended the life of 44-year-old Christopher Burns.  Mr. Burns was arguing with his significant other, as couples sometimes do, but there was no physical violence involved.  Police rushed into the couple's bedroom, handcuffed Chris, threw him down on the bed, kneeled on his back, put a flashlight under his chin and yanked back violently.  He died immediately from a broken neck.

Jeff Carlson and Steve Winkel
November 27, 1998 and December 5, 1998
On November 27, 1998, Carlson, age 23, and Winkel, age 27, were driving in Steve's pick up truck when Minneapolis police officer Douglas Leiter ran a red light and crashed into the truck.  Leiter was apparently in pursuit of a burglary suspect but his squad car did not have lights or siren on at the time of the accident.  Carlson died immediately; Winkel's family removed him from life support eight days later.

James Cobb
June 9, 2004
St. Paul
James was walking in the middle of a rain-swept street shouting at motorists. Police ordered him out of the street. Officers sprayed him with chemical spray, shocked him multiple times with a Taser and hit him with a baton. He collapsed on the street and died.

Steve Cole
April 13, 1994
Steve, age 23, was visiting a friend in the 3100 block of Grand Avenue in Minneapolis.  He stepped outside for some fresh air.  Police arrived and claimed that Cole had a knife in each hand, though several witnesses disputed this.  Police were at least 25 feet away from Cole when officers Curtis Graff and David Ploeger opened fire, striking Cole several times.  He died 90 minutes later at a hospital.

Walter Collins
October 10, 2003
Walter and a friend were in south Minneapolis when their car broke down.  Officer Jamie Conway and another cop started chasing them and shot and killed Walter, unarmed, as he fled.  His friend was also shot but survived.

Charles Craighead
December 3, 2001
St. Paul
Charles was fending off a carjacker and had managed to wrestle his gun free when Officer Michael Lee arrived on the scene.  Although witnesses tried to tell him that "the good guy has the gun" Lee shot and killed Charles and wounded the carjacker.  The city of St. Paul settled the case for $400,000.

David Croud
October 18, 2005
David, an American Indian, was slammed into a stone wall and otherwise abused as he was arrested by six Duluth police officers on October 12, 2005.  He slipped into a coma and never recovered.  He was taken off life support on October 18th.  He was 29 years old.

Rocco Dandrea
December 8, 1999
Police claimed that Dandrea, age 42 and suffering from severe mental illness, pointed a plastic replica of a gun at them.  Police appear to have been started as a bicyclist approached the area and opened fire, killing Dandrea.

Roger L. Davis
April 12, 2006
Roger was a passenger in a car that was involved in an accident after going on a low speed chase with Minneapolis police.  He was killed when the car hit a tree.  He was 27 years old.

Benjamin DeCoteau
January 22, 2005
Benjamin, unarmed, was shot by officer Mark Beaupre under suspicious circumstances.  Police claim he was a gang member but his family disputes this.  A highly spiritual American Indian, he was 21 years old at the time of his death.
Efrain Depaz
April 28, 2001
Efrain was a passenger in a car that led police on a low-speed pursuit when the driver, an undocumented man, became frightened.  When the pursuit ended in an accident, police approached Efrain's side of the car and demanded that he get out.  Efrain had both significant hearing loss and poor English skills.  It is also possible he was unconscious at the time.  Police claim he reached under the seat so they opened fire, shooting Efrain in the neck.

Lorenzo Doby
May 26, 2004
Lorenzo was running down the street, behaving erratically and asking for help.  Police arrived and sprayed him with Freeze Plus P (combination pepper spray and tear gas).  Lorenzo complained about being short of breath.  By the time he arrived at Hennepin County Medical Center he was dead.

Martha Donald
August 1, 2002
Shot in mysterious circumstances in the restroom in the lobby of her apartment complex.  Two police officers were in the restroom with her and one was also killed in the incident.  Police have alleged that Ms. Donald had a 38-caliber gun hidden in her buttocks, despite the fact that she was wearing tight pants and that they had searched her.  Community members are doubtful of this explanation.

John Doyle
October 19, 2005
John was found dead in his cell under suspicious circumstances.  He had been in jail since October 11, 2005 awaiting trial on an arrest warrant.  He was 40 years old.

Brian Feist
August 11, 1996
Brian, 38, was working driving a limousine on Highway 94 East when traffic in front of him came to a stop.  He swerved onto the shoulder to avoid an accident and was hit head on by Darren Shannon who was driving the wrong way in a high-speed chase with police.  The chase started because Officer Bradley Jon Simonson "had a hunch" that the $1700 car Shannon was driving was stolen.  Officers Robert Glasrud, Kim Johnson, and Matthew Blade joined Simonson in the chase.  Simonson testified that he engaged in 12-15 chases a month.  The city of Minneapolis settled with Brian's family for $500,000.

Dominic Felder
September 21, 2006

Dominic, 27, was suffering from mental illness when his family called 911 for help.  Officers Lawrence Loonsfoot and Jason King arrived.  Rather than taking him in for mental health care, they chased Dominic and--according to witnesses--opened fire on him as they caught up to him.  He was shot 7 times in front of numerous family members and other witnesses.  He was unarmed.

James C. Fye
November 21, 2000
St. Paul
Killed by Minneapolis police officers Aaron Morrison, Scott Ramsdell and Michael Kaneko in the parking lot of Mickey's Diner in St. Paul.  Fye and passenger Michael Ivory were unarmed.  Police claimed they were drug dealers, though no drugs were found at the scene or in their vehicle and Ivory denied the allegation.  Fye and Ivory were both shot several times but Ivory survived.  Fye was 29 years old.

Walter Gordon
January 2004
Walter died in the Washington County jail a day after being arrested for driving with a cancelled license.  He had asked for medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease but it was not provided.  He was 43 years old.

Artis Graham
October 18, 1998
St. Paul
Severely beaten after being arrested for a traffic stop, Artis died six days later from a blood clot after being hidden away from his family in a hospital.  Police had told his family repeatedly they did not know his whereabouts.

Steve Gunderson and Bill Hogetvedt
November 19, 2003
New Brighton
Gunderson and Hogetvedt led Minneapolis police on a high-speed chase after allegedly making an illegal turn.  Their car crashed into a light pole in New Brighton and burst into flame, killing the men.  They were both 37 years old.

William Hayek
September 2, 2002
St. Paul
William, age 19, suffered from mental illness and was suicidal.  His family called the police for help.  Officers Mark Nelson, Peter Crum and John Linssen entered the house and finding William with a knife, shot him multiple times.

Sean Hayes
May 14, 2000
Police followed Hayes, age 34, on a short, slow speed chase before ramming his car onto a yard and opening fire, shooting him several times.  Hayes was unarmed.  Police claim he attempted to ram his car into some squad cars.  A neighbor who witnessed the incident reported, "there were so many gunshots coming from every angle that you could see the gunsmoke," and added, "his door was not open, and they [the police] started shooting."

Larry Hill
March 19, 1989
Apple Valley
Apple Valley police shot and killed Larry Hill, age 49, after he escaped from Stillwater prison and was staying in the apartment of a friend in Apple Valley.  Hill, blind, was purportedly holding children of the friend hostage, though this was disputed by the friend.  Hill reportedly escaped after becoming despondent over the death of his mother.

Richard Hiltner
November 27, 2003
St. Cloud
Richard was an inmate at Stearns County jail awaiting trial.  He was found in his cell, strangled, and was taken to St. Cloud Hospital where he died two hours later.  He was 36 years old.

Renardo A. Holmes
August 3, 2006
St. Cloud
St. Cloud police chased Renardo from a bar, tackled him and then sprayed him with tear gas.  He stopped breathing and died on the scene.  He was 51 years old.

Frankie Howard
September 2, 2006
Frankie was an inmate at the Ramsey County workhouse.  He was restrained during an altercation with the guards and collapsed and died shortly thereafter.  He was 44 years old.  His death is still under investigation.

Kerry Howk
November 5, 1987
Howk was in the parking lot of a restaurant when approached by officers for "squealing tires and driving erratically" according to police.  They claim he drew a weapon and officers Mike Sundstrom and Bruce Peterson fired, killing him.  He was 35 years old.

Maria Inamagua
April 4, 2006
St. Paul
Detained at the Ramsey County jail for an immigration violation, Maria complained of a number of serious symptoms and asked for medical care for two weeks.  She was denied visits to a doctor and was given Tylenol instead.  At 4:00 p.m. on April 4th, she was found unconscious in her cell but was not taken to the hospital until 11:00 p.m.  She died from a massive, untreated brain infection.

Kieber Jacome and Darwin Vivar
April 24, 2005
Darwin, age 28 and Kieber, age 35, were killed when a car fleeing police slammed into their car.

Abu Kassim Jeilani
March 10, 2002
Abu reportedly suffered from mental illness.  He left his home carrying a crowbar and machete.  Witnesses state he never raised these items.  When police confronted Abu, who did not speak English, friends asked to intervene and were turned away.  Within 11 minutes of initial contact, six police officers shot Abu least 15 times.  Witnesses report that police continued to shoot even after Abu was lying on the ground.  His body was left uncovered at the scene for several hours.

Dale Johns
April 28, 1993
Police killed Dale Johns, age 27, who they claimed was either on top of a woman or came toward them with a pair of scissors.  Two witnesses dispute these claims.  Johns was shot twice by officer Jeffrey Drew.

Thomas Leo Kanter
January 1996
Benton County
Shot by Benton County Sheriff Deputy Nancy Wiggin approximately 45 minutes after a St. Joseph police officer was killed.  Kantor was a suspect in the killing.

Stanley James Larry
January 28, 1996
Larry died after being beaten and hogtied during arrest restrained by police officers.  Police claimed he was under the influence of cocaine.

Fong Lee
July 22, 2006
Fong, 18, was shot 9 times in the back by Minneapolis police officer Jason Andersen as he fled police.  Police claim he was armed and a gang member but witnesses and his family dispute this.  Also on the scene was a state trooper who felt no need to draw his weapon.

Richard Legarde
November 6, 1994
Anishinabe Reservation
Richard was an Anishinabe rights activist who was illegally arrested.  He was driven home by a deputy, who was the last person to see him alive.  The deputy was charged with murder.

Gerald Lehn
October 21, 1997
St. Cloud
Unarmed, he was shot twice in his chest and killed by a sheriff deputy after being chased for having the wrong license plates on his car.  Police claim he was driving erratically.  The deputy was rewarded for this with the department's highest medal of honor.

Kenneth Lloyd Lessley
December 9, 2003
Wadena police shot Kenneth after they claim he pointed a gun at them.  He was 43 years old.

Basee Lor and Thia Yang
November 15, 1989
Inver Grove Heights
Basee and Thai, both 13, escaped from Totem Town, a juvenile correctional facility after being arrested on minor charges.  Police chased them into a farm field and shot them in the back, killing them.  They were unarmed.  Their families had not been notified that their sons had escaped Totem Town.

Ryan Dwight Mosher
June 15, 2003
Ryan was an inmate at the Benton County jail awaiting sentencing on a 3rd degree assault charge.  He was found dead in his cell under unclear circumstances.  He was 27 years old.

Tycel Nelson
December 1, 1990
Nelson was shot in the back six times as he fled police, who later claimed he had been armed.  Witnesses state he was unarmed and the gun found on the scene had no fingerprints on it.  Tycel was 17 years old when he was killed. Officer Dan May was presented an award for this killing.

Eric Von Netters
May 7, 2003
Eric was stopped for a traffic violation.  Officer James Boyd attempted to pull him out of the driver's side door while Mark Bohnsack jumped into the passenger side.  Police claim Eric hit the gas and Bohnsack shot him in the face and neck.  Witnesses have stated that Bohnsack had already shot Eric when the vehicle lurched forward.

Perry Parks
June 1, 2000
Parks was killed by Woodbury police officer Mike Pomeroy during an arrest at his home.  Police claim he was going for an officer's gun but Parks' wife and two daughters witnessed the incident and dispute this account.  They say that Parks had been pepper sprayed and was kneeling on the floor saying, "I can't see, I can't see" when Pomeroy shot him.

Thomas D. Peterson
February 25, 1998
Thomas died while handcuffed in police custody.  State police chased him for having expired license plates.  He was 40 years old.

Mark Richards
August 21, 1987
Richards was killed after by officers Jim Wilson and Pete Jackson, who said he was holding a pellet gun.  He had been trying to scare away a group of youth who were vandalizing his girlfriend's car.  Police claim they instructed him to drop the weapon but he was wearing earphones and likely did not hear them.  He was 25 years old.  His family criticized police for not firing a warning shot rather than killing him.

Johnnie B. Rogers
January 23, 2004
St. Paul
Officer Charles Sims shot Johnnie several times in the parking lot of a department store after pulling him over.  Police claimed that Rodgers was holding a knife.

Calvin Sam
April 8, 1994
Police claimed that Sam pointed a gun at him so they shot him. He was 49.

Alfred Charles "Abuka" Sanders
November 1, 2000
Police claim Abuka was driving erratically so they boxed his car into an alleyway near his home and opened fire, shooting at least 35 times.  He was unarmed.

Barbara Schneider
June 12, 2000
Barbara was shot to death after police rammed through her locked apartment door and forcibly entered her bedroom.  They had received a complaint that she was playing her radio too loud.

Sal Saran Scott
September 21, 1984
Scott, 22, was shot in the face at point blank range after being arrested by a Minneapolis police officer who was a member of the controversial decoy unit.  The shooting was considered accidental and was the second such "accident" by the same officer.

Demitreus Sesler
April 2, 2001
Demitreus was a passenger in a truck being pursued by police.  Police claim he pointed a gun at them and they opened fire, killing him.  An independent autopsy showed that he was shot six times in the back.

William Shotley
January 24, 1994
Stillwater Prison
Died from cardiac arrest after having three asthma attacks and receiving inadequate medical care.  Just prior to his death, William told his brother he was being harassed for being gay.

Mark Patrick Sinclair
May 11, 1987
South St. Paul
According to newspaper accounts, someone at a bar called police because Sinclair, age 29, was drunk and was about to drive away.  Police arrived and arrested Sinclair, who walked voluntarily to the police car.  He was not handcuffed or searched.  One arresting officer claimed he held up a gun-shaped lighter in the back of he squad car, another officer and other bystanders said his hands were empty and that it was one of the officers who held up the lighter to light a cigarette for Sinclair.  Sgt. Gregory Mohrland pulled Sinclair from the car and then shot him.

Abdullah K. Simmons
July 29, 2001
Abdullah, age 15, was shot in the chest by police who claimed he was a passenger in a car involved in a high-speed chase.  Witnesses state he was walking to a store at the time.  After the shooting, witnesses saw police move Abdullah's body.  His body was left for 3 hours before being examined.  Abdullah was a chess player and honor roll student.

Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weiss
January 25, 1989
Long-time companions, Smalley and Weiss were killed in a fire stared by police with a flash grenade set off in front of their apartment door.  Police, who sought to arrest their house guests, made no attempt to rescue the couple.  Police claimed not to know they were present although they had met them during a visit 24 hours earlier.

Gregory Stampley
January 21, 1994
Stillwater Prison
Severely mentally ill, Gregory died of a perforated gastric ulcer after being denied appropriate medical care.  Prison records show he was denied food on occasion and had the water turned off to his cell.

Jenni Stebleton
August 22, 2000
Jenni Stebleton, age 28, was killed when a car leading Minneapolis police on a high-speed chase crashed into her vehicle.

Michael Max Truchinski
January 24, 1998
When six Crow Wing County sheriffs entered his house at 11:30 at night without knocking, one shot and killed Michael, claiming he pointed a gun at them.

Unidentified Man
August 5, 2005
Police officers shot and killed an unidentified man as he ran away from them.  He was a suspect in a robbery and police claim he had a knife.

Hosie Walton, Jr.
January 16, 1987
Police claim that Walton, age 54, pointed a gun at them.  Family members dispute this and state that officers never told him to raise his hands.  Officers Bruce Johnson and Stephen Day fired on him.  One shot him in the face, killing him.  Walton was in bed at the time he was shot.

Michael Harold Wessels
July 7, 2004
Michael Harold Wessels, age 61, died in the Hennepin County Jail. He was recovering from open heart surgery when he was arrested for being a fugitive from Washington state.  Reports from inside the jail indicate that the wing in which he was being held had been filled with pepper spray at the time of his death.

Gerald O'Neill Whitten
July 15, 1987
Whitten was shot in the face by Robert Thunder, an officer with a long list of brutality complaints against him, during an alleged drug raid.  Police claim he was a look out.

Anthony M. Williams
August 28, 2003
Anthony died in police custody after being sprayed with Freeze Plus P pepper spray.  The coroner's office ruled his death as accidental and stated the cause as "respiratory arrest following exposure."  Anthony was 28.

Courtney Williams
October 24, 2004
Courtney, age 15, was hanging around with a group of young people when approached by police.  All of the youth ran away.  Officer Scott Mars followed and shot Courtney.  Police claimed that Courtney had a pellet gun but this was later disproved.

Kesha Williams
January 31, 1996
Williams was shot to death by Minneapolis police officer Gerald Wallerich who claimed she was threatening another woman and a baby with a knife. Some community members disputed the circumstances of her death.  Williams was 21 years old.

Scott Richard Winder
June 25, 1987
St. Paul
Winder, a 27-year-old military veteran and father of a young child, was drinking at a bar.  Patrons complained to police that he was harassing people.  Newspaper accounts state that Winder shot at officer Eugene Polyak and bar patron Earl Gerald Olson prior to Polyak shooting him.

Ki Yang
September 22, 2002
St. Paul
Ki, 46, had a history of schizophrenia.  His family called an ambulance for help.  Instead, police arrived and confronted Ki on the steps of his home.  He was holding a stick and possibly a BB gun.  Police shot him six times.

Raymond Ziegler
February 12, 2004
Raymond, 40, was living in a group home for the mentally ill. On February 6, 2004, police were called to the home because he reportedly was creating a disturbance. Officers shocked him multiple times with a Taser. He suffered a cardiac arrest immediately after the Tasering. He remained in a coma until his family removed life support about on February 12th.

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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