Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Minneapolis police: Who protects us from them?


February 12, 2008

Who's really protecting us?
What is a populace to do when those sworn to uphold the law exhibit criminal disregard for the law?

A federal lawsuit filed by five high-ranking veteran African American Minneapolis Police Officers has garnered some attention in the Twin Cities (, drawing attention to what the officers describe as “a hostile work environment” within the department, which has been plagued for years by cases of criminal misconduct and brutality. As details emerge from the suit ( about the climate for officers of color, more information as been made available to concerning police relations with the community at large.

Below we list samples of atrocities committed by the Minneapolis Police Department according to their own Internal Affairs records from 2003 to 2006.

Blacklogic recently obtained internal complaint forms from the MPD citing incidents, officers involved in said incidents, and the complaint allegations. Taken as a whole these forms illuminate a culture of violence, patronage, disdain and disregard for the citizens the MPD are sworn to serve and protect.

Internal Affairs Case No# 05-27 – Date of Incident, 2/6/05

Complaint allegations:

“The complainant (Demiteras Cooper) alleges that during his arrest on 2/26/05 excessive force was used. Officers used profanity and racial slurs towards the complainant. He was kneed, kicked and punched during the arrest. He was stomped on his head causing his teeth to break. The complainant alleges that he was tazed unnecessarily during the arrest. Officers did not provide the complainant with medical attention.”

The complaint was sustained, and for their actions Officers Clinton Letch and William Woodis were both given 40 hour suspensions, or were docked one-weeks work for violating the MPD professional code of conduct (MPD R/R 5-105), deadly force (MPD R/R 5-307) and use of force/injury reporting (MPD R/R 5-308).

Internal Affairs Case No# 05-53 – Date of Incident, 8/19/05

Name/Badge: Officer James Brickley # 00771

Complaint allegations:

“It is alleged that on 8/19/05, Officer James Brickley, while off-duty, was involved in a single vehicle accident involving his personal vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It is alleged that Officer Brickley had in his possession an off-duty loaded firearm when the incident occurred. Officer Brickley was place[d] (sic) under arrest for two counts of gross misdemeanor DWI and one count misemeanor for carrying a weapon while under the influence. Officer Brickley's BAC tested .25.”

The complaint was sustained with a 20 day suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 06-01 – Date of Incident, 1/5/06

Name/Badge: Officer Mark Kaspszak

Complaint Allegation:

“It is alleged that Officer Mark Kaspszak was arrested by White Bear Lake Police on 1/5/06 while operating his personal vehicle while under theinfluence of alcohol.”

Sustained with a 30 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 06-13 – Date of Incident, 3/04/06

Name/Badge: Officer Richard Muro #4899 & Officer Lonnie Hoffbeck #03063

Complaint Information:

“It is alleged that Officers responded to an assault and failed to take the appropriate action to do an adequate on-site investigation and/or attempt to identify or apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.”

Both Officers were served with 10 hour suspensions each.

Internal Affairs Case No# 06-31 – Date of Incident, 5/13/06

Name/Badge: Officer Daniel Ungurian #7362

Complaint Allegations:

“It is alleged that Officer Ungurian was operating his personal motor vehicle off-duty in Mlle Lacs County while under the influence of alcohol. Officer Ungurian was arrested by the MN State Patrol and subsequently charged with 4th degree DWI. As a result of this arrest, his driving privileges were [r]evoked.”

Sustained with a 30 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 06-51 – Date of Incident, 6/05/06

Name/Badge: Officer Steven Manhood #4323

Complaint Allegations:

“Complainant stated that an Officer responded to an inebriated man at their bar. The man was unconscious. The complainant alleged that the Officer slapped the man in the face and head trying to wake him up. The complainant asked the Officer not to hit the man so hard and to bring him out in the rain. The Officer got angry and used derrogotory language towards the complainant and a witness. The ambulance arrived and took the inebriated man to the hospital.”

Sustained with... a letter of reprimand! Oooohh.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-22 – Date of Incident, 5/21/04

Name/Badge: Officer Heidi Eisenbeis #7619, Officer William Barta #0323

Complaint Allegations:

“Complainant alleges that he had properties, i.e. Timberwolves game tickets valued at $315.00 taken from him and that he was not arrested nor issued any citations for any violatons of the law and that these tickets were subsequently used by unknown persons to attend the event.”

Sustained: Officer Barta terninated, Officer Eisenbeis not terminated.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-18 – Date of Incident 4/22/04

Name/Badge: Officer James Brickley (again) #0771

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer Brickley while off duty was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.”

Sustained with a 20 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-15 – Date of Incident 4/05/04

Name/Badge: Officer John Sullivan #7007

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer Sullivan while on duty and performing his duties as a police Officer encountered indivuduals at the above time and location and used language considered derogotory based upon race.”

Sustained with a 10 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-06 – Date of Incident 1/28/03

Name/Badge: Officer Kelly O'Rourke #5575

Complaint Information:

“Officer O'Rourke has failed to respond to Garrity Notices (Second Notices) regarding Civilian Review Authority.”

No consequence cited.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-04 – Date of Incident, 2/28/04

Name/Badge: Officer Michael Arett

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer Arett is alleged to have violated MPD R/R 5-106 On Duty Code of Conduct, “Officers shall respond without delay to calls for police service unless otherwise directed by proper authority. Emergency calls for service shall take precedence. However, all dispatched calls shall be answered as soon as possible consistent with departmental procedures.””

Sustained with a 20 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 03-28 – Date of Incident, 10/12/03

Name/Badge: Officers Jeffrey Jindra #3289, Todd Babekuhl #0246, Michael Killebrew #3716, Francisco Porras #5785, and Patrick Daly #1421.

Complaint Allegations:

“Officers were alleged to have sexually assualted a party with a plunder. During the course of the investigation other allegations of misconduct were alleged to include throwing of paintballs, throwing of food and dishes, use of inappropriate language, inappropriate use of force.”

No discipline cited.

Internal Affairs Case #03-23 – Date of Incident, 7/24/03

Name/Badge: Officer John Mills #4802

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer Mills, while on duty, is alleged to have placed a female street prostitute in his Minneapolis Police squad car and transported her to a location in the Third Precinct where he took lewd photographs of her.”

Sustained – Terminated.

Internal Affairs Case No#04-23 – Date of Incident, 3/28/02

Name/Badge: Lt. Lawrence Doyle, Officer James Brickley (again!), Officer Todd Lappegaard, Officer Lance DuPaul.

Complaint Allegations:

“It is alleged that on 3/28/02, Officer[s] improperly engaged in a police vehicle pursuit and that this pursuit was ended with the improper use of deadly force. This use of deadly force resulted in the fatal injury of a non-involved pedestrian.”

Sustained – letter or reprimand for Lt. Doyle only.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-28 – Date of Incident, varies

Name/Badge: Lt. Richard Thomas #7182

Complaint Allegations:

“Complainant alleges that Lt. Thomas engaged in an extra-marital affair with her. Complainant further alleged that at the conclusion of the affair Lt. Thomas provided false information to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office when completing a police report.”

Sustained with a 16 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs CaseNo#04-30 – Date of Incident, 6/22/04

Name/Badge: Officer Daniel Anderson

Complaint Allegations:

“It is alleged that Officer Daniel Anderson tried to elude Oklahoma City Police when they attempted to stop him for speeding. Officer Anderson was arrested in El Reno, OK., for eluding police and endangering the life of another. Officer Anderson's passenger, Jeffery Lupient, is a convicted felon. It is alleged that Officer Anderson knowingly associates with a person involved in criminal behavior.”

Sustained – 40 hour suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 04-31 – Date of Incident, 6/6/04

Name/Badge: Officer William Barta #0323

Complaint Allegations:

“On 6/6/04 Eric Henderson was arrested near 4th Street and First Avenue North by Officer Barta and susequently monies were removed from his person. These monies were not placed in inventory until four days after the arrest, nor was any receipt issued (amount was over $200), as required by policy, nor was there any mention of the monies in CAPRS reports also required by policy.”

Sustained – Terminated.

Internal Affairs Case No# 05-25 – Date of Incident, 10/2/03 – 6/2004

Name/Badge: Officer Brian Potocnik #5790

Complaint Allegations:

“It is alleged that beginning in October of 2003, Officer Potocnik engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a minor female whom he met while working off duty at Roosevelt High School in his capacity as a Minneapolis Police Officer. This relationship was both romantic and sexual in nature; it is alleged that Officer Potocnik engaged in sexual activity with the female both on and off-duty over a period of approximately 14 months. It is alleged that Officer Potocnik consumed alcoholic beverages with the minor female including one occasion when he socialized with the minor female and her friend at a bar whle all three consumed alchololic beverages, although both girls were under 21. It is also alleged that Officer Potocnick failed to comply with the conditions of his relieved of duty status on 7/08/05 when he failed to remain at his home during work hours. Officer Potocnik was untruthful when asked about the matter by a supervisor.”

Sustained – Terminated....but before that....

Internal Affairs Case No#05-24 – Date of Incident, 2/23/05; 4/27/05; 5/01/05

Name/Badge: see above

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer is alleged to have not attended special duty training and failed to notify a commander of his absence.”

Sustained – Two day suspension.

Internal Affairs Case No# 03-22 – Date of Incident, 8/04/03

Name/Badge: Officer Ryan Chancellor

Complaint Allegations:

“Officer Chancellor is alleged to have obtained and been in possession of child pornography on his personal computer. Officer Chancellor is also alleged to have sent electronically a picture of himself in MPD uniform in conjunction with sexually explicit chat dialogue. Officer Chancellor has refused to give a compelled statement and in any way cooperate with the Internal Affairs Investigation.”

Sustained – Terminated.

Not included in this report are findings from the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority, which whom the MPD has a long, antagonsistic history (

Some Minneapolis advocates for social justice have long advocated federal receivership of the MPD instead of being subjugated to a department overtly hostile to diversity, communities of color, and to providing equal justice under the law. After being given many reprieves with the PCRC, it may be time to support the justice advocates' claims. A criminally minded police department is paradoxical to the needs of all people.

Blacklogic welcomes reader comments at


Jake SPPD said...

I read and did some of my own investigating into Brian Potocnik Minneapolis police officer. I have to admit I have heard of this moron from coworkers. It's reported he not only had sex with a minor he met while on duty but gave her several stds. Thank god this girl was brave enough to come forward and tell her story!! Hopefully he never holds this position of autority again. Trust me myself and others truly work in this field to protect and not to dishonor like this predator!

Of Honor said...

Hello; I am one of the officers who this sight has posted erroneous information about regarding the arrest of D.Cooper. I was never found to have committed any wrong doing (as is mis-stated in the article) and I was never suspended (as is also mis-stated in this article).
I strongly urge you to re-check your facts and post the truth so that this sight may be known for factual information.
Failure to perform a retraction will force me to take legal action against this sight, its proprietor and the author of the printed words regarding this case.
I would like to add that Mr. Cooper lost his frivelous law suit against the city, myself and the other officer listed within this article.

Honored to serve

Clint Letch

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