1/30/2003 Newsletter


  • Request for Help in Little Falls
  • Outrageous Conduct: Police Beat, Urinate on American Indian Man

We received the following information and request for assistance. If anyone can help this family, they will be going to the jail in Little Falls for a visit this Saturday (leaving 8 a.m.) and would be happy to take folks along with them. Please call our hotline at 612-874-STOP to be hooked up with the family.
On January 7 of this year a Native American man, James Anderson, bipolar and suffering from heart arrhythmia, was beaten while handcuffed in the Little Falls MN courthouse by 6 police officers and sheriff's deputies, possibly receiving a closed-head injury, cracked ribs, bruises, and a punctured eardrum. His family was then prevented from seeing him for 3 days. He had been living in a halfway house and doing well but his jailers took him off his medication and forced him to take a medication that his doctor insists is dangerous, or be thrown into solitary.

Mr. Anderson was in court on January 7th to respond to an alleged violation of an order for protection the day before as a result of an outburst during a custody hearing concerning his children. No one was injured but he was jailed, taken off his medication, and returned to court the next day agitated and looking sick. During a hearing in which both the judge's secretary and the prosecutor made free use of racial jokes, denied a lawyer, Mr. Anderson was sentenced to 180 days in jail for contempt of court, which was promptly raised to 320 days after another outburst. His bail was set at $100,000. It was after this that his wife, who has a legally documented history of false accusation against him, accused him of making a death threat against her and he was beaten, handcuffed.

He has since been pressured into signing documents he cannot read, accused of attempting suicide, pushed back and forth by guards in an apparent attempt to set off his instability, thrown in lockdown, and denied private access to his attorney.

Mr. Anderson has court dates in Little Falls on February 4th and 10th. If anyone feels they are able to attend, rides will be provided. In any case we request that people call the jail at (320) 632 2673 and demand that Mr. Anderson be removed from solitary, put back on the medication regime he was on prior to being jailed, and be seen by his personal physician.

We attended a press conference yesterday regarding the outrageous conduct of 5th precinct Minneapolis police officers who, on Saturday night, drove their squad car into the parking lot of Little Earth, and pulled an American Indian man and woman from their squad car. They told the woman to "take a hike" and then beat the man unconscious, urinated on his head and chest, and left him to freeze to death in the parking lot. There were witnesses, including Little Earth security, and the man was taken to the emergency room and treated. The level of racism and inhumanity perpetrated in this attack is appalling. It will be very, very hard for Olson & Company to sweep this one under the rug.

Minneapolis police accused of brutality against two
Chris Graves
Star Tribune
Published Jan. 30, 2003

Minneapolis police are investigating allegations that two officers beat and may have urinated on an American Indian man and left him and a female companion outside in freezing temperatures late Saturday, authorities said Wednesday.

"They left them out to freeze," said Ellie Webster, executive director of Little Earth Housing Corp. "They were left out in the cold; on the coldest night of the year."

Clyde Bellecourt and other leaders in the American Indian community met with Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson Tuesday to express their concerns and outrage. They also called a news conference Wednesday afternoon in south Minneapolis to discuss the case.

Off-duty Minneapolis officers were called to a parking lot in the 2500 block of Ogema Place after the alleged assault and took the man to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Cyndi Barrington, police spokeswoman, said there is an internal affairs investigation into the allegations.

Investigators were working to identify the officers involved, authorities said. As of Wednesday, it was unclear if authorities know who those officers were or if those officers documented the call that may have precipitated the events.

Communities United Against Police Brutality
2104 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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