5/3/2006 Newsletter


  • CUAPB Makes City Pages "Best Of" List
  • Maria Inamagua: Denied Medical Care, She Died in Custody
  • Coon Rapids Man Shot in Own Home During Raid
  • Drunk MPD Cops Arressted in Columbia Heights
  • State Trooper Guilty of Sexually Assaulting 14-year-old Girl.
  • School Turns Into Prison to Stop Student Walkout

We are proud as punch to learn that we made the City Pages daunted "best of" list for 2006.  We had no idea we were even being considered for such an honor--and we just could not be happier.  Thank you, City Pages, for recognizing our hard work.

Communities United Against Police Brutality
Walker Community Church
3104 16th Avenue South

Unfortunately, not everyone who is charged with a duty to "protect and serve" does so in a positive or even legal manner. Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) aims to rectify this reality by empowering victims of abuse to seek justice while working for change in the system through direct action, court observation, lawsuits, and public education. It scrutinizes the decisions of judges, legislators, and community leaders to ensure appropriate action is taken to redress harms and that the laws extends protections for the public, not just the police. CUAPB offers many tools, including a 24-hour hot line, help with finding legal representation, and a website database of complaints against individual police officers. Making a complaint against a police officer can be isolating, and often the process is filled with roadblocks and intimidation. CUAPB steadfastly stands behind those who are taking this difficult and sometimes unpopular step, making the cause of one a cause for all.

Maria Inamagua was an Ecuadoran immigrant who came to the U.S. in the mid-1990s, married and had a lovely daughter, Joana.  In 1998, Maria was swept up in a workplace raid and threatened with deportation.  A judge ordered her to leave the country but Maria chose to defy the order.  She spent eight years in fear that INS/BICE would catch up with her.  In early April, this fear became reality when she was arrested and taken to the Ramsey County Detention Center.  While awaiting deportation, Maria developed headaches and dizziness.  On April 4th, she was found unconscious in her cell at 4:00 p.m.  but, in true Ramsey County Jail style, was not taken to the hospital until 11:30 p.m.  Maria had been suffering from a brain infection for a week before she lost consciousness; by the time she was taken to the hospital, it was too late to save her.  Maria leaves behind a loving husband and her beloved Joana, now a 6-year-old.

Maria's death results from the convergence of two interrelated forms of injustice: this country's racist and oppressive immigration policy and the mistreatment and appalling lack of medical care provided to inmates at local jails in both Ramsey and Hennepin counties.  In essence, Maria was given a death sentence for the "crime" of being an undocumented immigrant.

The Ecuadoran community and others have come together to demand justice for Maria, better immigration policy and an end to jailhouse medical neglect.  An ad hoc group is meeting weekly to plan actions to educate the community about this sad case and its underlying causes.  For information on the next meeting, call our hotline at 612-874-7867 or call Peter Brown with the National Lawyer's Guild at 612-824-6533 or email him at [email protected].

April 28, 2006

A man was shot during an encounter with a police officer in Coon Rapids while authorities were searching a home for stolen property, police said.

Coon Rapids police said they were called about 5 p.m. Thursday to a home in the 10600 block of Hummingbird St. NW. They assisted Anoka County sheriff's detectives and Columbia Heights police search for stolen property from a burglary in Columbia Heights. Soon after entering, a Coon Rapids officer encountered a man in a dark bedroom and shot him once.

The man, 32, is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, said Deputy Chief Tim Snell. He would not say why the officer fired a shot or whether the man was armed.

The officer involved is Martin Heilman, a 22-year veteran of the force, Snell said. Heilman is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, pending an investigation of the shooting by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.



(EDITOR'S NOTE: At least these cops were arrested for their conduct.  Now, let's see if they actually get prosecuted.  This editor just can't help but think that had the arrestees been average community folks, they may well have been beaten or worse.)

(WCCO) Minneapolis Two Minneapolis Police Officers were arrested early Tuesday morning in Columbia Heights, Minn., Minneapolis Police Spokesman Ron Reier said.

According to police reports, Lindsay Anderson, 29, from the 3rd Precinct, was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Her boyfriend, 35-year-old Steven Herron, from the 1st Precinct, was arrested for obstruction of justice.

The Columbia Heights officers said Anderson drove Herron's car into a parked pickup truck, which then crashed into another parked car.

Reports said Anderson had a blood alcohol content of .22, which is nearly three times the legal limit. She was taken to a squad car and held while officers were clearing up the scene.

Officers reported that Anderson threatened officers while kicking and punching the windows in the car she was sitting in.

Herron, who was allegedly drunk as well, was arrested after repeatedly trying to talk with Anderson and refusing to follow instructions.

Officers said they warned him to go back to his car and when he refused to follow directions, they tried to arrest him. When he didn't place his hands behind his back, officers said they tasered him twice to get him to comply.

Both officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Jim Adams, Star Tribune
April 21, 2006

A decorated former Minnesota trooper was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

Lt. Scott Trautner, 41, of Woodbury, was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct by Washington County District Judge Thomas Armstrong after Trautner, who resigned from the State Patrol in December, waived a jury trial.

Trautner faces a state-mandated sentence of 12 years in prison when he is sentenced in July. Armstrong said he carefully considered the evidence and exhibits and found Trautner committed the offense.

The girl had testified that Trautner had oral sex with her one night in Woodbury.

Prosecutor Peter Ivy, an assistant Carver County attorney, handled the case to avoid any conflict of interest for the Washington County attorney's office, which had prosecuted cases in which Trautner was the arresting officer.

The incident happened in December 2004, but the girl didn't report it until April 2005 after she had a high school class on date rape and domestic assault, Ivy said. Trautner knew her, but not through his job.

Ivy said Trautner testified that he didn't sexually assault the girl, who had been a baby sitter for Trautner's 4-year-old son. Armstrong found that Trautner had a "significant relationship" with the girl, a requirement to prove the sexual assault charge against him. Trautner's attorney, John Pecchia, had no comment on the verdict.

Trautner's wife is also a trooper, as was his father.

The conviction means he cannot be an officer in Minnesota. He is free on bail until sentencing.

Trautner earned a lifesaving award for rescuing a woman from a fire, as well as 34 letters of commendation for his work as a trooper.

?2006 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.


Parents Go Ballistic as School Has 'Nuclear Attack'-Type Lockdown
The Washington Post Company
Sunday, April 23, 2006
By Sonya Geis

Are student walkouts anything like a nuclear attack?

That's what angry parents in Inglewood, Calif., would like to know. The principal of an elementary school there, concerned that youngsters would be swept up in student walkouts over immigration that have roiled Southern California the past few weeks, locked down classrooms to keep her kids in school.

And by completely locked down, Principal Angie Marquez meant completely. Marquez instructed teachers to place buckets in the back of the classroom for students who couldn't wait for the end of the day to use the bathroom.

When Julia Campos heard from her fourth-grade son that he had used a bucket to urinate in his classroom, she asked some of his female classmates about it. "Many of them were crying because they felt embarrassed," she told the Los Angeles Times. "One girl was afraid other kids would see her."

Parents demanded an explanation. School administrators defended Marquez. Their explanation: She misread the handbook.

"When there's a nuclear attack, that's when buckets are used," Tim Brown, director of operations, told the newspaper. "She made a decision to follow the handbook. She just misread it."

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

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