2/2/2014 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Help Us Gather Signatures at the Caucuses
  • Defend Copwatcher Andrew Henderson
  • Support Whistleblower Cop Alan Watt
  • Finally, Some Real Transparency

Help Us Gather Signatures at the Caucuses--We Need YOU!

Tuesday, February 4 at 5 p.m.
4200 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis

We are working hard to gather the 10,000 signatures of Minneapolis registered voters we need to get our charter amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The charter amendment will require police officers to carry professional liability insurance. The city could pay the base rate for this insurance, with individual police officers paying for any additional premiums based on claims history. This proposal is great for taxpayers, who would no longer have to foot the bill for police brutality and misconduct. This proposal is also a win for good cops because they will have better coverage than they have now, at no added expense. The FBI requires this coverage and the agency doesn't even pay for it.

Tuesday night is caucus night in Minneapolis. This is a great opportunity to get lots signatures of people who are registered to vote in Minneapolis. Please join is at 5 p.m. for a bite of food and some training, then we'll go out to the higher density precincts and collect signatures for an hour or so. All that is needed is a small amount of your time. PLEASE, PLEASE help us with this.
Defend Copwatcher Andrew Henderson
Court Watch Week of February 17
Send Letters to the Prosecutor and Judge: Drop the Charges

On October 30, 2012, Andrew J. Henderson was outside of his apartment filming an incident with police.  He was at least 30 feet away but Ramsey County Sheriff's Deputy Jacqueline Muellner walked up to him and grabbed his camera.  He was not given a receipt for the camera.  When he went to the sheriff's office the next day, they knew nothing about the incident or the camera.  He learned later that Muellner had never checked his camera into the property but, instead, took it to her home and erased the film footage.  Two weeks later, Andrew received a ticket for disorderly conduct and obstructing legal process.  He has made many trips to court and the prosecutor has gotten multiple extensions.  This nonsense has gone on over 15 months and has cost the taxpayers of Little Canada over $5500 with no end in sight.

Just to be clear--it is legal to film the cops and Andrew did nothing wrong. Muellner, on the other hand, broke the law in multiple ways. Shortly after her theft of the camera was discovered, she was allowed to quietly retire. In the meantime, Andrew still faces charges. View this YouTube video about Andrew's situation.

You can help!  Please stand up for the right to videotape police. Attend Andrew's trial (follow him on Facebook for updates on the schedule) and please make these calls. Tell them to DROP THE CHARGES ON ANDREW HENDERSON NOW! VIDEOTAPING COPS IS NOT A CRIME!
City of Little Canada 651-766-4029
Prosecutor Kevin Beck 651-224-3781
Judge Diane Alshouse 651-226-8266

Crystal Whistleblower Cop Alan Watt Under Attack
Join Us in Crystal to Fight Back!

Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m.
Crystal City Council Meeting
4141 Douglas Drive N, Crystal

As you know, we've been working hard to defend Crystal cops Alan Watt and Rob Erkenbrack, who have faced serious retaliation after they demanded justice for the Ramirez family (who were illegally dispossessed from their home by crooked Brooklyn Park cop Greg Burstad and had all of their possessions stolen while Burstad controlled the key to their home) and exposed other corruption. The community took heart when Alan Watt was finally allowed back on the job after a year of administrative leave. However, this victory was short-lived as police officials showed up at Alan's house on Friday during his day off to notify him that he is back on administrative leave. Crystal police administration has been demanding that he turn over his PRIVATE medical records to them. This demand appears to violate Alan's rights under HIPAA and he is refusing to do so, resulting in this latest act of retaliation.

The Crystal city council has made it clear that they are backing the corrupt chief and city manager, making them complicit in this illegal retaliation.  We need to show up in numbers at the city council meeting on February 18 to let them know that the community will not stand for this further act of retaliation and Alan Watt needs to be put back on the job without restrictions NOW!
Finally, Some Real Transparency
By Tom Gardner 

A police chief has taken to Facebook and Twitter to name and shame officers guilty of serious misconduct - telling followers he had 'terminated' them.  Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown detailed the crimes staff were guilty of - including shooting an unarmed suspect, domestic violence and drunken behaviour - and what punishments had been handed down.  He tweeted the results of disciplinary inquiries to his more than 5,500 Twitter followers in a series of 14 posts. Chief Brown said that the openness was an attempt to improve public faith in his police force. He said: 'Transparency motivated us to engage the public on social media'.  Far more detailed accounts of the offenses his officers were found guilty of were laid out on the police department's Facebook page.

The tactic of the police chief, which was discovered by news site Vocativ.com, has won widespread praise from social media users.  One, who called herself Grim AkaStatik, commented: 'Thank you for exposing the dirty cops that exist today. They are not above the law. These offenses are harmful to others... Keep this up.'  But some critics of the social media naming and shaming have said the postings are made before each of the disciplined officers and staff have had a chance to appeal their punishments.

Rob Ramcharan said: 'Getting rid of the thugs and slackers on the force is a good idea, as long as it isn't just lighting the end of a very long fuse that will result in an arbitration panel reinstating the disgraced officers with hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay, or putting them on permanent disability for the post traumatic stress they suffered as a result of being fired.
'Maybe it's time to look at the hiring process and what goes on at the police academy.'

The public can visit the Facebook page entitled 'Chief David O. Brown Disciplines Employees', and read about the misdemeanors of officers.  The posting notes that Senior Corporal Amy Wilburn was sacked after she was found to have violated the department's policy on the use of deadly force. On December 9, 2013, she had helped stop a car stolen by armed robbers who had fired shots at the owner of the vehicle. According to the account posted on Facebook: 'While the vehicle was moving slowly, the driver jumped out and began running and the passenger remained inside the vehicle. 'The other officers began to pursue the driver while Senior Corporal Wilburn ran toward the vehicle with her weapon still holstered. 

'As Senior Corporal Wilburn opened the driver’s door, she appeared surprised at the sight of the suspect sitting in the passenger seat and almost immediately drew her weapon and fired once, striking the suspect once in the side. 'The Internal Affairs investigation concluded that Senior Corporal Wilburn violated the Department’s Use of Deadly Force policy when she fired upon an unarmed person without fear or justification.'

911 dispatcher Moises Limon was fired after being caught drink driving. Senior Corporal Frank Della, who had been with the force since 1994, was fired after getting into a drunken altercation after attending a concert while off-duty.  Senior Corporal James Reynolds, was demoted after he failed to go to the assistance of a colleague who was calling for urgent help with an aggressive prisoner.

Senior Corporal William Wesley, was sacked for punching his girlfriend in the head. He was arrested for Family Violence Assault, Class A Misdemeanor. 'An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that Senior Corporal Wesley engaged in adverse conduct when he was involved in a domestic disturbance which resulted in a police response.

Sergeant Rafael Rodriguez, fired for threatening his estranged wife at her home with a handgun. The police department's Facebook account said: 'An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that Sergeant Rodriguez engaged in adverse conduct when he was involved in a disturbance which resulted in a police response and subsequent arrest for Deadly Conduct.  'The investigation also concluded that Sergeant Rodriguez was armed with a weapon which he was not qualified to carry.'

To view the tweets, go to the
Original Article


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