7/12/2013 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Brooklyn Park Criminal Cop Gets Slap on Wrist while Whistleblower Crystal Cops Get Retaliation
  • Confront Corruption in Crystal

CRIMINAL COP BURSTAD GETS SLAP ON THE WRIST WHILE WHISTLEBLOWER COPS GET DEMOTION, SUSPENSION, RETALIATION

Press Conference
Monday, July 15, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
Brooklyn Park Library, 8600 Zane Avenue North, Brooklyn Park
JOIN US!

After submitting 31 well-documented complaints on behalf of community members reporting numerous incidents of brutality and other criminal conduct by Brooklyn Park Police Sgt. Greg Burstad, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) has learned that Burstad received only a 40-hour suspension and returned to duty as a supervisor.

We're holding a press conference on Monday, July 15 to unveil a video (obtained from Brooklyn Park) that shows Burstad repeatedly and violently punching a man who had surrendered with his hands in the air. This assault resulted in substantial bodily harm, the element required for 3rd degree felony assault.  Although this crime was committed in front of many officers, Burstad was never charged.

Twelve complaints were also filed with the city of Crystal relative to an incident in which Crystal police failed to investigate the dispossession, without legal authority, of the Ramirez family from their home by Burstad and the subsequent theft of their household property while the home was under Burstad’s control.  The Ramirez family reported these crimes to the Crystal police department, yet no investigation was performed other than what was on the original offense report.  The investigator stated that he was pressured not to investigate.  At one point, the FBI inquired about the case to the chief of police but still no investigation was done and Crystal police management engaged in a cover up.

After hearing from the community about the cover up, two Crystal police officers stepped forward to express their concerns about the lack of investigation and other police management corruption.  Examples of this corruption include:

  • Sgt. Robin Erkenbrack was changing desks and found a note in the desk belonging to now chief Stephanie Revering when she was in charge of training new officers.  Erkenbrack reported the note, which detailed a bet made between Revering and another officer about when a new officer would be fired—even before he had been hired.  The wager was for “a bottle of booze.”  Revering had the new officer fired and he sued the department and received a settlement.  Although Revering admitted to the bet, a sham investigation followed and she was not disciplined—another cover up.
  • Chief Revering, then a sergeant, went to a strip club off duty with two other officers.  They got into an altercation with a patron.  Strip club management escorted them out and called Crystal police to make a complaint—again this was covered up.
  • A member of the current police administration transported a live mortar round into police headquarters, endangering the lives of officers and city residents.  The building had to be evacuated and the bomb disposed of by the bomb squad.  The incident was covered up and never investigated.

Instead of acting on the concerns, newly-appointed Chief Stephanie Revering began a campaign of retaliation against these two officers.  Ofc. Alan Watt, a 17-year veteran with no complaints from the community, was placed on administrative leave for 8 months, suspended without pay for 6 weeks, and remains on leave to this day.  Sgt. Robin Erkenbrack, a 27-year decorated veteran with no complaints from the community, has been on administrative leave for about 2 months, was demoted, and was threatened with further retaliation if he didn’t accept a forced retirement.  He remains on administrative leave.  CUAPB assisted these officers in filing complaints against Chief Revering with the city of Crystal and with the Minnesota POST Board for illegal retaliation.  Copies of these complaints will available at the press conference.

It is an outrage that a criminal cop like Greg Burstad gets a slap on the wrist and is back on the street while two honest cops have faced far worse just for doing the right thing.  We are proud to stand up for officers Watt and Erkenbrack and we demand that Burstad be fired.

We aren't going to just accept Brooklyn Park's lack of read discipline.  At the press conference CUAPB will be announcing additional actions regarding the lack of appropriate discipline for Burstad’s egregious misconduct.


CONFRONT CORRUPTION IN CRYSTAL
Join us to Speak Out at the Crystal City Council Meeting
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Crystal City Hall, 4141 Douglas Drive North, Crystal


You may recall that we filed a dozen complaints with the city of Crystal for their failure to investigate the unlawful dispossession of their home and theft of property of the Ramirez family. It would seem that when the suspect is a fellow cop, they are happy to cover it up.  The Crystal city administration continues to resist doing an independent investigation.  Could it be they have something to hide?  Recently, Crystal city manager Anne Norris sent a letter stating that Crystal WILL NOT take action.  Well, we just aren't going to accept that answer.  We are taking our demands straight to the city council and reminding them that Norris works for them and they work for the community.  We're also going to speak out in support of Ofc. Alan Watt and Sgt. Robin Erkenbrack, two Crystal officers who confronted corruption by Crystal's police administration and are now facing serious retaliation (see story above). 

Join us!  Speak out against corruption and for justice for the Ramirez family and in support of whistleblower officers Watt and Erkenbrack.


Communities United Against Police Brutality
4200 Cedar Avenue South, Suite 5
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-874-7867
www.cuapb.org

We meet every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Join us!


connect