Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travesty of Justice handed down in Mehserle's trial

Reading the comments after the article reveals how truly vulgar most people in this country really are. Oscar Grant was a father, son and brother and father, and a friend. The attitudes in the comments make me sick. Cops are criminals. Period.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Appeasmening the GOP is doing Obama in

This quote is from a reader on RAWSTORY, responding to defeated Fla. dem congressman Alan Grayson's assertion that Obama's appeasement of the GOP led to the "shellacking" of Dems on Tuesday.

Very true words here:

"Obama: joined Bush to bail the banks that they may continue their depredations upon the rest of us; expanded Afghanistan--immolating American thugs and Afghan patriots to be re-elected and show himself all manned-up for the Repubs; continues Iraq; continues Gitmo; fails to prosecute the war criminals of the previous administration, making his own even more complicit in their crimes; dithers about foreclosures; expands Bagram, where Afghans and others may be tortured to death by the CIA without any oversight; expands drone attacks whereby American “heroes” annihilate the wedding parties of innocent ("terrorist") Afghans by flipping a switch at Nelson AFB; makes sure meaningful health care reform will NOT occur; bails the companies who then coolly outsource more jobs; takes direction from BP; and makes certain real banking reform will not get Citibank’s panties in a twist. In short, Obama joins the powerful in making sure this crisis reduces plain American to the peonage the powerful want. No more unions, no more living wages--just the workers in their place, happy to be wage slaves.

If you voted for Obama, you really weren't listening. He is and always has been a right-wing tool."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Herbert: Fast Track to Inequality

A better reference would be the book, "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Brother triumphant

RIP Eyedea

WTF...I just heard a new track by him and Abilities on the Current not two weeks ago.
Big loss, Big Talent, Big Heart.

NYT: "culture" of poverty returns to discussion

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zambian miners shot by Chinese managers - Telegraph

Zambian miners shot by Chinese managers - Telegraph: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Whoa, looks like the Chinese have learned to act like every other imperialist ensconced in

Thursday, October 07, 2010



Communities United Against Police Brutality
October 6, 2010
October 22 is the national day of protest and there are lots of important upcoming events to report on, all having to do with resisting excesses of the police state. Mark your calendars now.

TOMORROW: Stop FBI Repression Community Meeting
Next community meeting to organize Stop FBI
Thursday, Oct. 7, 7 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
Please attend and help organize to Stop FBI repression against antiwar activists. (See story below to learn more about this case.)

Talk by Radical Attorney Tony Serra
Saturday, 10/9, 5 p.m.
Hamline Law School, 1536 Hewitt Ave, Room 105, St. Paul
Suggested donation $5-20 for Scott Demuth Defense Fund
Tony Serra is a well known civil rights attorney and tax resister from California. In 2003, he won Trial Lawyer Of The Year award for his work representing Earth First! and labor activist Judi Bari in her lawsuit against the FBI, in relation to the bombing of her car. Other clients of note include Rod Coronado, Huey P. Newton, and Sara Jane Olson. He has also represented members of the White Panthers, Hells Angels, Earth First, and the New World Liberation Front.

Grand Juries – What are they? How can we resist them?
Sunday, October 10, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
In the last week of September, 14 anti-war and international solidarity activists were hit with Grand Jury subpoenas. These are the most recent but certainly not the only grand jury subpoenas served on activists from different movements around the country. In this context it is critical that radicals, activists, and supporters of those targeted understand the use of this shadowy institution--including the "rights" they grant us and the rights we claim for ourselves. Carrie Feldman, a local activist and former member of the Coldsnap Legal Collective, will be speaking about what a grand jury is, how they have been used to target radical movements, and her experience resisting a federal grand jury investigation into the animal liberation movement. In addition, one of the local antiwar activists targeted by the latest round of subpoenas will speak on the current situation in that case. Stop the FBI harassment! Say no to government repression of activists! For more information on the recent raids and subpoenas into the anti-war movement, visit: For more information about Carrie's case, visit:

Legal Education Session and Know Your Rights Training in response to the FBI offensive against the Anti-War Movement:
The Legal Information Activists Need to Know
Sunday, October 10, 4:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
Meant to continue the training presented by Carrie Feldman, topics to be covered include:
- An explanation of the Federal Laws prohibiting "Material Support to Terrorists" and how they are being used, and how they threaten the rights of peace activists everywhere
- Discussion of the federal grand jury process, and its oppressive use against political movements
- Training on what to do "if an agent knocks." What are rights if a federal agent want to talk to you, comes to search your house or other property, or serves you with a subpoena?
Information will be presented by local civil rights Attorney Jordan Kushner, with contributions by other lawyers and activists with pertinent experience. Co-Sponsored by NLG-MN, CAIR-MN, WAMM, Anti-War Committee, RNC 8 Defense Committee, Al-Aqsa Institute, Communities United Against Police Brutality

Panel Discussion on the Role of Police in Society
Thursday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
In light of the Metro Gang Task Force debacle, the recent death after tasing of David Smith, several high profile incidents and lawsuits, and the second firing of MPD cop Jason Andersen, CUAPB will hold a panel discussion that takes us back to the root question: what role, if any, does policing have in our society. In the lead up to October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, panelists representing a wide range of political views will present on this highly relevant topic. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments from the public. Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.

Friday, October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality

October 22, 7:00 p.m.
March to mark the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality
Leaving from Lake Street at Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis
Protest the blatant and unpunished murders of Fong Lee, Quincy Smith, David Smith and so many others, and the lack of prosecution of cop corruption with the Metro Gang Task Force. Demand an end to police brutality NOW!

October 22, 8:30 p.m.
Joint CUAPB/RNC 8 Fundraiser
Favor Cafe
913 W Lake St, Minneapolis
Suggested donation $10
The wonderful owners of Favor Cafe (the only Black-owned business in uptown) are turning over their beautiful club to us for this festive evening fundraiser. A great lineup of spoken word and hip hop artists will provide the entertainment. Regular and adult beverages, appetizers and delicious soul food entrees will be available for purchase, including vegan options. Our goal is to raise funds for legal fees for the RNC 8 and for people who face false charges after being brutalized, including Philander Jenkins, who needs funds to appeal his false conviction.
Chicago, October 5th, 2010, five anti-war and international solidarity activists from Chicago and Minneapolis announced they are invoking their 5th amendment right to not testify in front of a Grand Jury investigation. Stephanie Weiner, one of those raided and subpoenaed spoke to 150 supporters at a press conference outside the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago, "This is an attack on the anti-war movement, but the strong response of our movement, where more than 61 protests in cities across the country, makes it absolutely clear that this is about more than just 14 activists in the Midwest. It is an attempt to limit the voice of anti-war, peace, and international solidarity activists."

The five signed letters to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox. They informed him of their decision to invoke their 5th amendment rights to not testify. One of those subpoenaed to appear today, Meredith Aby of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, said, "Our opposition to U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, our scathing criticism of U.S. government support for repressive regimes and death squads in Colombia and Israel is well known and public. This attempt to criminalize the fourteen of us in the anti-war movement must be stopped. The Grand Jury should be ended. There should be no charges."

Joe Iosbaker stated, "We have nothing to say to a Grand Jury. Most people do not understand how secretive and undemocratic the Grand Jury is. I am not allowed to have my lawyer with me. There isn't even a judge. How strange is that? It is the U.S. prosecutor with 23 people they hand picked to pretty much rubber stamp whatever the prosecutor says. A person is defenseless in that situation."

Jim Fennerty an attorney working to defend the activists said, "Assistant U.S. Attorney Fox is cancelling the subpoenas for the five due to appear today. This does not put an end to the Grand Jury investigation however. Fox can reissue subpoenas for new dates or decide to arrest the activists and charge them with crimes."

Activists organized a successful National Call In Day yesterday, with thousands phoning to demand that President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder publicly call off the Grand Jury investigation.

For more information

ALSO: If you haven't called Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama yet PLEASE DO!

President Obama (202-456-1111) and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (202-353-1555)
Demand :
**End repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
**Return all materials seized in the raid!
**Stop the Grand Jury Subpoenas of activists!
With little fanfare, the Minneapolis Police Department updated a number of policies, including its use of force policy and Taser policy, as of October 1. The changes are reflected in online Policy and Procedure Manual. You can see the new policies at:

Under these new policies, Tasers are now considered "less lethal" rather than nonlethal. Impact weapons get similar treatment. Recall that in 2006, the city council required the MPD to adopt a fairly stringent Taser policy in order to purchase more Tasers but barely 18 months later, the MPD secretly gutted the policy. Their actions can be directly attributed to the deaths of Quincy Smith and David Cornelius Smith. The new policy makes it clear that Tasers neither can be used on passive resistors or simply noncompliant suspects. Given the large number of complaints we get of people being Tased while handcuffed simply for speaking, if the policy is actually followed this could bring the community some relief.

To quote Dave Bicking, who first broke this story, "It appears that Quincy Smith and David Cornelius Smith have succeeded where the CRA [Civilian Review Authority] failed. It's sick that it takes that kind of price to be paid."
We are ecstatic to report that the so-called False Reporting law passed by the Minnesota Legislature four years ago has been overturned by the state appeals court. You'll recall that CUAPB took the state of Minnesota to federal court to overturn this awful law, which criminalizes reporting of police brutality if the person can't prove it happened (and sometimes even if they can). We lost at the very conservative 8th circuit federal court and have been in the process of mounting an appeal when this ruling came down from the state appeals court in another lawsuit. To see the decision, go to The decision incorporates many of the First Amendment arguments we advanced, so we are quite happy to see the law go down for those reasons. All-in-all, a wonderful decision for the community.

In a nutshell, the decision says "Minn. Stat. § 609.505, subd. 2 (2006), which criminalizes knowingly making false statements that allege police misconduct, but not knowingly making false statements to absolve police, violates the First Amendment's prohibition against viewpoint discrimination."

One excerpt we particularly enjoy: "Our guide in this undertaking is the majority opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in R.A.V., a landmark case declaring a St. Paul ordinance banning certain cross burnings to be unconstitutional. . . . 'St. Paul has no . . . authority to license one side of a debate to fight freestyle, while requiring the other to follow Marquis de Queensberry rules.' . . . '[T]he government may proscribe libel; but it may not make the further content discrimination of proscribing only libel critical of the government.'"
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Monday, September 27, 2010

JACKbootED THUGS w/badges hit the streets

Communities United Against Police Brutality
September 26, 2010
You have undoubtedly heard by now about FBI raids on homes of prominent Twin Cities antiwar activists on September 24. The targeted activists have worked with the Anti-War Committee, played major roles in planning protests against the RNC and have been vocal supporters of people oppressed by US foreign policy, including Palestinians. In addition to the raids, activists were served subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago on various dates in October. Activists in Chicago, Michigan and South Carolina experienced similar repression.

The community's response to these outrageous attacks was swift. Dozens of people, including CUAPB cop watchers and National Lawyers Guild attorneys, turned up at the raided houses to observe law enforcement conduct and provide comfort to the affected activists. Over 70 people participated in a 4 p.m. press conference. And over 200 people came to an emergency meeting at 5:30 that evening, on only a few hours' notice. Nearly everyone present signed a support statement, agreeing to stand in solidarity with those affected. Significant donations were also made toward a defense fund. For more information on the raids and to view a short video of the meeting, go to The video includes a salient analysis of the FBI's actions by former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley.

Follow up actions announced at the meeting include:

MONDAY, September 27th @ 4:30 PM @ THE FBI OFFICE (111 Washington Ave S. Minneapolis, MN - Downtown) to protest the FBI raids on activists in our community. Since calling this action in Minneapolis, at least 19 cities across the country have announced similar actions on Monday through Wednesday this week, in a coordinated campaign being called Days of Action Against FBI Repression.

THURSDAY, September 30th @ 7 PM @ WALKER CHURCH (3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis) follow up meeting to form a defense committee for affected individuals.

Please drop everything to make it to these two important events and show your solidarity with antiwar activists under attack. We created important movement support around the RNC 8, Scott and Carrie, and others and that support has forced the powers-that-be to back down. Now we will show them the power of the movement when they come after our antiwar activist friends and allies.


Panel Discussion on the Role of Police in Society
Thursday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
In light of the recent Metro Gang Task Force debacle, the recent death after tasing of David Smith, several high profile incidents and lawsuits, and the second firing of MPD cop Jason Andersen, CUAPB will hold a panel discussion that takes us back to the root question: what role, if any, does policing have in our society. In the lead up to October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, panelists representing a wide range of political views will present on this highly relevant topic. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments from the public. Please join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.

Mark Your Calendar Now!
Friday, October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality
7:00 p.m. March to mark the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, leaving from Hiawatha transit center. Protest the blatant and unpunished murders of Fong Lee, David Smith and so many others, and the lack of prosecution of cop corruption with the Metro Gang Task Force. Demand an end to police brutality NOW!

8:30 p.m. Joint CUAPB/RNC 8 Fundraiser at Favor Cafe, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis. A great lineup of spoken word and hip hop artists will provide the entertainment. Our goal is to raise funds for legal fees for the RNC 8 and for people who face false charges after being brutalized, including Philander Jenkins, who needs funds to appeal his false conviction. Suggested donation $10.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recently announced that there would be no prosecutions of cops involved in the Metro Gang Task Force. This unit engaged in grotesque corruption and brutality, as only partially documented in these reports: <> and < > as well as this wonderful site <>. Further, a class action lawsuit resulted in a $3 million dollar fund to reimburse some of the victims of the MGTF's misconduct. $3 million sounds like grand larceny, doesn't it? Yet, somehow, no one is going to be prosecuted.

Freeman's whine that no one would talk to him is disingenuous at best. When prosecutors think a group of people were involved in the crime, they have a whole trick bag of tactics they use to try to get people to roll on each other. There certainly was at least some direct evidence of corruption, especially since it can be proven that some cops stole confiscated goods and took them home or gave them away as gifts. Freeman simply chose not to act on the information he did have or to use his arsenal of tools to gather additional information.

Freeman's announcement shouldn't really come as a surprise. As a guy who relies on cops in his prosecutions, he can't really afford to get on their bad side. He has way too much skin in this game. Which begs the question--why was he ever the guy making this decision in the first place?

A second factor in this whole mess is the need to keep actions by higher-ups under the radar. Think about this: after a state probe began to unravel the trail of stolen money, cars and goods, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion announced that the MGTF would be shut down but then left the building wide open so crooked cops could shred files and destroy the proof of their corruption. No effort was made to secure the building until Commander Chris Omodt showed up to end the party. MGTF advisory council chair Manila "Bud" Shaver used his influence to prevent his car from being seized and searched after his meth-addicted daughter was arrested while driving it.

There's no question that murdering thug MPD cop and former MGTF member Jason Andersen certainly deserves to be fired, as he was for the second time recently. Still, one can't help but get the impression that the powers-that-be hope that by throwing him under the bus, they will satisfy the desires of the general public for some kind of accountability for the crimes of the MGTF. They couldn't be more wrong.

In the present police state, in which Black men are constantly stopped for idiotic reasons like jaywalking, spitting on the sidewalk, waiting at the bus stop, or making a fashion statement, it's just straight up intolerable that cops are going to get a free pass for grand larceny and vicious brutality, mostly targeted against people who never had anything to do with gangs. At minimum, the feds need to recognize that Freeman wasn't the guy for the job and they need to bring federal charges against these cops, including litigation for a widespread pattern of civil rights violations. Beyond that, though, the community needs to keep up the pressure. A good start was the recent press conference by a number of civil rights groups calling for a grand jury probe. Finally, convictions of cases involving MGTF cops should be reviewed for possible reversal. A few cases have been reviewed, resulting in convictions being overturned. This needs to happen in every single case involving those cops, whose credibility is flat zero.

Civil rights groups call for grand jury probe of Metro Gang Strike Force
by Paul Demko
September 15th, 2010

A half dozen local civil rights groups are calling for a grand jury investigation of the disbanded Metro Gang Strike Force. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced last week that no criminal charges would be filed against officers assigned to the disgraced law enforcement agency.

In part, Freeman blamed the gang task force’s shoddy record keeping as part of the reason that a credible criminal case couldn’t be built. “The record keeping is so bad, it’s stunning,” he told reporters.

But the civil rights organizations including the Minneapolis and St. Paul chapters of the NAACP say that such an excuse wouldn’t be tolerated in most criminal investigations, particularly those focused on minorities. Here’s part of their statement:

In the African-American community and other communities of color, irrespective of whether a
criminal defendant cooperates with the prosecution in disclosing participation in criminal
activity, he or she is still often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Excuses are not
accepted in those instances and the excuse that has been offered here, such as a lack of evidence, should not be accepted in this instance. From where we stand shredding of documents sounds like obstruction of justice, to say the least. Not to mention numerous other ethical, civil liberties, and civil rights violations that allegedly occurred at the hands of the Metro Gang Strike Force.

A pair of scathing reports released last year describe officers assigned to the gang strike force routinely seizing property from individuals without justification and failing to maintain any reasonable records of their investigations. Last month, a class action lawsuit accusing the agency of civil rights violations was settled for $3 million.
You may have seen a recent flurry of articles on arrest and prosecution of people for videotaping the cops. Most of these cases rely on "two party" laws that state that both parties have to be aware of the taping of private conversations. The article below gives a good analysis of the flimsiness of that argument. However, you should know that Minnesota is a "one party" state--only one party to a private conversation need know that it is being taped, and that party can be you. Nonetheless, we are watching these cases closely. A few people have already been convicted and given significant sentences, so this issue will probably wind its way up to the US Supreme Court soon.

The flip side of this story is that cops have installed hundreds of cameras at intersections and along sidewalks of large swaths of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul (as well as other cities around the country). Apparently it is okay for the cops to tape us, even without evidence of criminal conduct, but they are claiming it's not okay to tape them conducting stops and arrests in public. Hogwash. Keep taping the cops, as cop watch is an important way to give the community a measure of safety and hold cops accountable for their conduct.

Should Videotaping the Police Really Be a Crime?
By Adam Cohen
Time Magazine
August 4, 2010

Anthony Graber, a Maryland Air National Guard staff sergeant, faces up to 16 years in prison. His crime? He videotaped his March encounter with a state trooper who pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle. Then Graber put the video which could put the officer in a bad light up on YouTube.

It doesn't sound like much. But Graber is not the only person being slapped down by the long arm of the law for the simple act of videotaping the police in a public place. Prosecutors across the U.S. claim the videotaping violates wiretap laws a stretch, to put it mildly.

These days, it's not hard to see why police are wary of being filmed. In 1991, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) beating of Rodney King was captured on video by a private citizen. It was shown repeatedly on television and caused a national uproar. As a result, four LAPD officers were put on trial, and when they were not convicted, riots broke out, leaving more than 50 people dead and thousands injured (two officers were later convicted on federal civil rights charges).

More recently, a New York Police Department officer was thrown off the force and convicted of filing a false report because of a video of his actions at a bicycle rally in Times Square. The officer can plainl be seen going up to a man on a bike and shoving him to the ground. The officer claimed the cyclist was trying to collide with him, and in the past, it might have been hard to disprove the police account. But this time there was an amateur video of the encounter which quickly became an Internet sensation, viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube alone.

In the Graber case, the trooper also apparently had reason to want to keep his actions off the Internet. He cut Graber off in an unmarked vehicle, approached Graber in plain clothes and yelled while brandishing a gun before identifying himself as a trooper.

Back when King was beaten, it was unusual for bystanders to have video cameras. But today, everyone is a moviemaker. Lots of people carry video cameras in their pockets, on iPhones, BlackBerrys and even their MP3 players. They also have an easy distribution system: the Internet. A video can get millions of viewers worldwide if it goes viral, bouncing from blog to blog, e-mail to e-mail, and Facebook friend to Facebook friend.

No wonder, then, that civil rights groups have embraced amateur videos. Last year, the NAACP announced an initiative in which it encouraged ordinary citizens to tape police misconduct with their cell phones and send the videos to the group's website. [Note: CUAPB is building a new website and you'll be able to publish your videos on our site.]

Law enforcement is fighting back. In the case of Graber a young husband and father who had never been arrested the police searched his residence and seized computers. Graber spent 26 hours in jail even before facing the wiretapping charges that could conceivably put him away for 16 years. (It is hard to believe he will actually get anything like that, however. One point on his side: the Maryland attorney general's office recently gave its opinion that a court would likely find that the wiretap law does not apply to traffic stops.)

Last year, Sharon Tasha Ford was arrested in Florida for videotaping an encounter between the police and her son on a public sidewalk. She was never prosecuted, but in June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida sued the city of Boynton Beach on her behalf, claiming false arrest and violation of her First Amendment rights.

The legal argument prosecutors rely on in police video cases is thin. They say the audio aspect of the videos violates wiretap laws because, in some states, both parties to a conversation must consent to having a private conversation recorded. The hole in their argument is the word "private." A police officer arresting or questioning someone on a highway or street is not having a private conversation. He is engaging in a public act.

Even if these cases do not hold up in court, the police can do a lot of damage just by threatening to arrest and prosecute people. "We see a fair amount of intimidation police saying, 'You can't do that. It's illlegal,'" says Christopher Calabrese, a lawyer with the ACLU's Washington office. It discourages people from filming, he says, even when they have the right to film.

Ford was not deterred. According to her account, even when the police threatened her with arrest, she refused to turn off her video camera, telling her son not to worry because "it's all on video" and "let them be who they continue to be."

The police then grabbed her, she said, took her camera and drove her off to the police station for booking.

Most people are not so game for a fight with the police. They just stop filming. These are the cases no one finds out about, in which there is no arrest or prosecution, but the public's freedoms have nevertheless been eroded.

Ford was right to insist on her right to videotape police actions that occur in public, and others should too. If the police are doing their jobs properly, they should have nothing to worry about.

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Important victory for Civilian Review Authority against MPD

Communities United Against Police Brutality
May 25, 2010

Earlier today, the State Court of Appeals released its ruling in our lawsuit Communities United Against Police Brutality vs. City of Minneapolis (available at ). The ruling essentially upholds the right of public access to information about the status of police complaints. We are absolutely delighted about this victory for the community.

Perhaps even more significant, this ruling also restores the right of complainants to appeal non-sustained complaints. For the past two years, people filing complaints with the CRA have not been able to know the outcome of their cases, effectively denying them the right of appeal as provided for in the ordinance. Under this ruling, the CRA must tell people their cases are not sustained.

In the past, the CRA routinely released information on complaints in response to requests under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). CUAPB, members of the media and the general public were permitted to know of the existence of a complaint, the status of the complaint anywhere along the process, whether the complaint was sustained or not sustained, whether the complaint was referred to the chief of police for discipline and, once the complaint has reached final disposition, any discipline imposed.

However, on May 2, 2007, the Minneapolis city attorney’s office issued a memo directing the CRA staff and board to cease releasing status information on cases. The CRA immediately reclassified all cases, including sustained cases from years ago as “closed” with no indication as to how the case was actually handled. After trying other means to get the city to follow the MGDPA, we filed suit in February 2009 in state court. The initial ruling from Judge Regina Chu was so bad that both sides wanted to appeal it. In early April, the appeal was heard and the decision was announced today.

We are pleased as punch that our actions has returned transparency to the CRA complaint process and helped people regain their rights.

MN National Day of Action Against SB1070
Saturday, May 29 from noon to 3pm
Whipple Federal Building (Light Rail to Fort Snelling stop)
1 Federal Drive St. Paul, MN 55111

Meetup for Copwatch:
10:30 a.m.
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis

CUAPB has endorsed the May 29th local march in solidarity with the National Day of Action Against Arizona's SB1070, a vicious law that codifies racial profiling and attacks on immigrants. Part of the urgency of the local action is that backward legislators have introduced a copycat bill in Minnesota. We will be supporting the local action by providing copwatch to provide a measure of safety for the marchers. Marchers will meet at the Whipple Federal Building, home to the local branch of the notorious Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as the local Homeland Security office.

Afterwards the march will head to nearby Fort Snelling to link up with people protesting the renovation of the fort, which was used as a Dakota concentration camp. You can find more information about the protest here:

If you would like to help us with copwatch, meet us at Walker church at 10:30 a.m. for a short training. From there, we will assign people to teams and go together to the march.

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan Ordered
to Appear in Court and Explain Lack of Discipline in CRA Cases
Friday, June 4 at 8:30 a.m.
Hennepin County Government Center, Room 757

As a result of our Writ action, Judge Susan Burke has ordered Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan to appear in her courtroom on June 4th to explain why he has been violating the law in failing to issue discipline based on the CRA's findings of fact in sustained cases. For more information on the case, see
This should be some amazing courtwatching--don't miss it!

Paul Hansen
Friday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Hennepin County Government Center

Some of you joined us a couple of years ago when we protested the Newport City Council over ongoing harassment by the local police of CUAPB board member Paul Hansen. Paul continues to experience harassment from police. In this latest incident, he was changing the locks on a rental property he owns when cops accused him of having a knife. When they searched him and none was found, he was charged with felony terroristic threats. They handcuffed him so tight that his wrists bled before handing him a ticket. This is just the latest in a long string of bogus charges. We need to let the cops know that we have Paul's back.
Updated: 05/25/2010 10:08 PM
By: Liz O'Connell

[] A Carver County Sheriff's Deputy is charged stealing methamphetamine from the department's evidence room.

According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video shows 47-year-old Daniel David Kahlow entering the evidence room and drug evidence vault at the Carver County Sheriff's Office and departing during the same time frame.

An audit conducted on May 22nd revealed that several items appeared to have been tampered with or moved.

Kahlow appeared at the sheriff's office Sunday on his day off and was arrested.

BCA agents executed a search warrant and found a Carver County evidence bag with 15.5 grams of methamphetamine and two smaller bags of methamphetamine, one weighing 5.1 grams and the other 2.8 grams, in Kahlow's right front pants pocket.

A glass pipe was also found in Kahlow's left front pants pocket.

The deputy is charged with second degree possession of six grams or more of methamphetamine.

Kahlow is an 18-year veteran of the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. Most recently, he served as the department’s latent fingerprint examiner and as one of four staff members who were authorized to enter the evidence room.

Kahlow is in custody at the Wright County Jail.

If convicted, Kahlow faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
By Sol Wachter
May 12, 2010
New York Times

SINCE its adoption after a landmark 1966 Supreme Court decision, the Miranda warning has worked its way into not only everyday police procedure, but American culture as well ­ even if you’ve never been arrested, you probably know the words “anything you say can and will be used against you.”

But as the Obama administration considers carving out an exception to the Miranda rules <> for terrorism suspects in the wake of the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the Connecticut man accused of being the Times Square bomber, it’s important to note how little most people understand what Miranda does and doesn’t mean.

First and foremost, the failure to give a Miranda warning does not result in a case being dismissed. It only results in the inability of the police to use a confession and its fruits in evidence. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of successful criminal prosecutions do not involve confessions.

The warning’s genesis lies in the Fifth Amendment, which says that the government may not compel a person “in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The framers knew how easy it was to obtain a confession through torture or other forms of overt coercion, and how tempting it was for a government to use such tactics. To prohibit this kind of abuse, the founders said, in effect, that a person could not be forced to confess.

The problem was trying to determine what counted as a coerced confession. Well into the 20th century, police officers would beat suspects, or keep defendants in isolation for days, to get a confession. The methods of police interrogation were so diverse, and the effects of isolation, intimidation and defendant ignorance so varied, that appellate courts found it difficult to determine afterward whether a confession had been truly voluntary.

Finally, in 1966, the Miranda decision < > established a universal standard, requiring people in police custody to be read their rights before being questioned. Under most circumstances, failure to comply with this rule would lead to a suppression of the confession.

However, contrary to common belief, the Miranda warning doesn’t confer rights; it simply reminds arrestees of the rights already granted to them by the Constitution. Moreover, talk-show hosts and television police dramas have led people to believe that before the police may interrogate or arrest a suspect, the Miranda warning must be given. That just isn’t the case. Neither arrest alone nor interrogation alone (if there has been no arrest) requires the warning to be given. Miranda applies only to in-custody questioning; a statement made to the police by a suspect not in custody is not subject to Miranda.

Still, many supporters of Miranda exclusions argue that the rule hamstrings law enforcement. This is wrong, too.

When Miranda was decided, I was a young lawyer who had served in the military police and was chairman of the Committee on Public Safety of the Nassau County Board of Supervisors ­ in short, law enforcement was a big part of my life. I, along with members of the county police force, the prosecutor’s office and others in the law enforcement community, was frightened by the decision. Would arresting officers ever remember to read the entire warning? We envisioned wily defense lawyers using Miranda to suppress a confession, often the strongest foundation on which to build a conviction.

Over time, however, police compliance became second nature, and the warning has become a routine part of post-arrest interrogation. Today, judges only rarely suppress confessions because the warning wasn’t given, and acquittals on the basis of such a suppression are even rarer. In fact, because it clarifies more than inhibits the arrest and interrogation process, law enforcement agencies nationwide support Miranda.

The truth is, we may have even reached the point where defendants are so familiar with the warning that they forget its meaning; indeed, the penal system is filled with prisoners who confessed or incriminated themselves despite having been read their rights.

This doesn’t mean that Miranda is irrelevant, or that there isn’t a place for exceptions. In 1982, while I was a judge on New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, we heard a case in which a man was said to have entered a supermarket with a loaded gun. When the police detained the man, they found him wearing an empty holster, and they asked him the whereabouts of the weapon. After he showed the police where he had hidden the gun, he was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

The lower courts held that he should have been given his Miranda warning before being asked the location of the gun. I wrote an opinion, later embraced by the Supreme Court < > , that created an “emergency exception” to Miranda, allowing the police to defuse a dangerous situation before administering the warning.

But resolving immediate emergencies is about as far as we should go in delaying the Miranda reading or creating exceptions to it. To open non-emergency exceptions, like the one proposed by the Obama administration for terrorism suspects, would be to go down a road toward the eventual nullification of the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

The Miranda rule strikes a delicate balance, enabling us to protect a fundamental constitutional right without forcing the courts to allow the legitimacy of every confession to be proven before it is allowed into evidence. To compromise the rule would be counterproductive and destructive to the kind of freedom we enjoy as Americans ­ a freedom that terrorists would like nothing better than to destroy.

Sol Wachtler is a professor of constitutional law at Touro Law School and former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Communities United Against Police Brutality newsletter

Communities United Against Police Brutality
May 11, 2010

Appeal in Fong Lee Case
Wednesday, May 12
Press Conference at 8:00 a.m.
Hearing at 9:00 a.m.
Federal Courthouse
316 N Robert Street, St. Paul
Join us for a rally and press conference starting at 8:00 a.m. at the courthouse. This case has great significance to the community, especially in light of today's rehiring of the murderer cop Jason Anderson (see below). An all white outstate jury ruled in May 2009 that Andersen was justified in shooting the unarmed Fong Lee in the back as he fled, after Andersen ran him down with his squad car and knocked him off his bicycle. Join this family in their struggle to gain some measure of justice in this truly horrifying incident.

Courtwatch for Paul Hansen
Wednesday, May 12 at 1:30 p.m.
"Public Safety" Building (new jail)
401 4th St, Minneapolis
Some of you joined us a couple of years ago when we protested the Newport City Council over ongoing harassment by the local police of CUAPB board member Paul Hansen. Paul continues to experience harassment from police. In this latest incident, he was changing the locks on a rental property he owns when cops accused him of having a knife. When they searched him and none was found, he was charged with felony terroristic threats. They handcuffed him so tight that his wrists bled before handing him a ticket. This is just the latest in a long string of bogus charges. We need to let the cops know that we have Paul's back.

Courtwatch for RNC 8
Thursday, May 13
Friday, May 14
9:00 a.m. each day
Ramsey County Courthouse
15 W Kellogg, St. Paul
Carpools leave each morning at 8:00 a.m. from Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
This is the second week of pretrial hearings in the RNC 8 case. Last week's hearings were on whether there is even a basis for the charges against the 8 and from the pathetic testimony of the cops, the bogus nature of this prosecution is becoming more apparent. For great coverage of last week's hearings, see reports on Twin Cities Indymedia. Chris Dugger, who spied on the RNC Welcoming Committee in exchange for a job as a Ramsey County Sheriff's Deputy, will testify next. This should be really exciting.
During last weekend's Mayday festival, CUAPB launched a new initiative to amend the Minneapolis city charter so that police officers will have to purchase individual professional liability policies to cover police brutality and misconduct. This initiative is long overdue as misconduct by the cops costs taxpayers millions each year--money that could have been used for housing homeless people, keeping our libraries open or any number of other important items. Not only will this relieve the burden from taxpayers but it is an ingenious way to add an element of risk management to local policing--if a police officer gets too many complaints/lawsuits, he or she will be dropped by the insurance company and would no longer be able to be a cop in Minneapolis.

For this initiative to be successful, we have to get it on the ballot and that means we need to collect the signatures of 15,000 registered Minneapolis voters by July 1. That's where you come in. We need lots of canvassers to go door to door in selected neighborhoods in Minneapolis to explain the charter amendment and ask people to sign to put it on the ballot. From our work last weekend, we found that many people are eager to sign on once we explain the amendment. You'll work on a team with others and will be trained and have a script to follow.

If you can be part of this historic effort, please come to a training session on Saturday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis or call our hotline at 612-874-7867 to let us know you can help.
In response to our writ petition filed back on February 12, Judge Susan Burke issued an order requiring Minneapolis Police Chief Timothy Dolan to “comply with Minneapolis Ordinance § 172.130.” Judge Burke further ordered that Chief Dolan “shall show cause before this court why he has not done so on June 4, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 757 of the Hennepin County Government Center.” Folks, you are going to want to mark that date on your calendar as that hearing should be one great show!

Under Minneapolis ordinance 172.130, the police chief is required to make disciplinary decisions on sustained CRA cases “based on the adjudicated facts as determined by the civilian review authority board.”

The recently released CRA 2009 Annual Report and the previously released CRA Participation in Performance Review of MPD Chief Dolan provide ample documentation of Chief Dolan’s refusal to accept CRA findings and refusal to discipline based on those findings. The 2009 Annual Report states “the MPD continued to use insufficient evidence and disagreement with the evidence as a reason for not imposing corrective action on officers who received sustained complaints” (p. 20-21). This report also cites a new excuse by the chief for not disciplining complaints­that of the investigation taking “too long.” For a discussion of this issue, see p. 29 of the report. The 2009 Annual Report can be found at < > and the CRA Participation in Performance Review of MPD Chief Dolan can be found at < >.

In a companion ruling, Judge Burke set a trial schedule in the matter of whether CRA Board Chair Don Bellfield adequately responded to a requirement in the CRA ordinance that he submit notice to Minneapolis City Council’s Executive Committee of Chief Dolan’s failure to follow the discipline section of the CRA ordinance and that this failure could subject Chief Dolan to discipline. With this ruling, we are two for two against the city's shenanigans for shielding Dolan from the law.

Judge: MPD chief must explain discipline decisions
Created: 05/10/2010 10:51 PM By: Becky Nahm


Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan will be required to tell a Hennepin County judge why he did not discipline police officers found to be at fault by a citizen review board.

A judge ordered Dolan to appear in court in June.

The ruling is a victory for the group Communities United Against Police Brutality.

In February, the group filed a lawsuit, saying Dolan failed to punish officers even after the Civilian Police Review Authority sustained complaints against them.
Hold your stomachs, folks--the sympathetic tone of this article will really make you ill. Note that no one from the community was interviewed for a response. This is an old pattern--pretty much every cop fired after an incident of excessive or deadly force who appeals to the arbitrator gets rehired. Folks will remember that Mike Sauro was reinstated after costing the city $3 million. All the more reason to be at the Fong Lee hearing tomorrow.

Fired Minneapolis police officer in Fong Lee case is ordered rehired
By David Hanners
Updated: 05/11/2010 07:33:53 PM CDT

An arbitrator has ruled that Minneapolis Chief of Police Tim Dolan was wrong to fire Jason Andersen, the officer involved in the 2006 shooting of Fong Lee, and has ordered the cop reinstated with back pay.

Dolan fired Andersen for allegedly violating the department's code of ethics; the firing came after a prosecutor dropped a misdemeanor domestic assault charge that had been filed against Andersen.

"It feels good to be vindicated," the officer said in a statement released by his father, Steven Andersen. "I'm anxious to get back to work and serve the citizens of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department administration with pride."

The 33-year-old officer was fired four months after a jury in a federal wrongful-death trial found that he did not use excessive force in the July 2006 shooting of Fong Lee. Andersen shot the 19-year-old eight times after he said the Hmong man began to raise a pistol towards the officer.

Dolan had long defended Andersen's actions, even returning him to duty before the department's own investigation into the shooting was complete. But after the verdict, some of Andersen's colleagues expressed concern that even though he'd been cleared of wrongdoing, the publicity created by the trial ­ and the rift the shooting had left in the Hmong community ­ had left him a marked man.

When the chief fired Andersen, the Minneapolis Police Federation filed a grievance, and today the union's vice president said the union was pleased with the arbitrator's ruling.

"We're obviously very happy," said Lt. Bob Kroll. "Jason's looking forward to getting back to work. He's one of these guys who was born to be a cop."

Sgt. Jesse Garcia III, a spokesman for the police department, said he hadn't heard of the ruling and couldn't comment.

He said Dolan was not available for comment.

Fred Bruno, the attorney who represented Andersen in the domestic assault case, said he was glad the arbitrator ruled in the officer's favor.

"I always thought that thing stunk from the beginning, so I'm happy to hear that," he said. "He's a single dad with kids and a mortgage, so he deserves it."

Andersen had been placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested June 14 following an incident at his Big Lake home. His ex-wife had called a Big Lake policeman and complained that Andersen had struck his girlfriend.

Both Andersen and his girlfriend were charged with misdemeanor domestic assault. Sherburne County prosecutors soon dismissed the charge against the woman, and on Sept. 2, the charge against Andersen was dropped as well.

Prosecutors said there wasn't enough admissible evidence that Andersen had broken the law.

Bruno then asked the department to reinstate the officer, a second-generation cop who had joined the Minneapolis police department in August 2005. But the domestic assault cause had sparked an internal affairs investigation; a disciplinary panel recommended to Dolan that the officer be fired, and the chief agreed.

Andersen was told that he had violated the department's single-paragraph Code of Ethics, which reads:

"All sworn and civilian members of the department shall conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner at all times and not engage in any on- or off-duty conduct that would tarnish or offend the ethical standards of the department. Employees shall abide by the City's Ethics in Government Policy, Chapter 15."

"I think from the get-go, the city's case was baseless," said Kroll. "We think that the arbitrator came to the right conclusion. It was a right and just decision."

Andersen's father, Steven Andersen, said that his son is "a public servant through and through" and that he had learned from the experience.

"He's grown as a person," said the elder Andersen, a retired Beltrami county sheriff's deputy. "He's grown in his faith, I think he's matured a lot over this. There's been some real growth in his life. And he's not bitter. When he called me (to tell him of the ruling) there was absolutely not a breath of bitterness from him. He was just elated that he can go back and continue to serve the citizens of the community. That's what he wants to do."
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Monday, May 10, 2010

Judge orders MPD chief Dolan to follow the law

You'd think that'd be simple for an "officer of the law."

Increasingly, as an activist and writer who still believes in the need for law and public safety, the police apparatus in place today is not up to the task, and in my opinion, acts as a national criminal class protected by the badge."

from the report:
Under Minneapolis ordinance 172.130, the police chief is required to make disciplinary decisions on sustained CRA cases “based on the adjudicated facts as determined by the civilian review authority board.”

The recently released CRA 2009 Annual Report and the previously released CRA Participation in Performance Review of MPD Chief Dolan provide ample documentation of Chief Dolan’s refusal to accept CRA findings and refusal to discipline based on those findings. The 2009 Annual Report states “the MPD continued to use insufficient evidence and disagreement with the evidence as a reason for not imposing corrective action on officers who received sustained complaints” (p. 20-21).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GURU, the legend passes on to the other side

I am absolutely crushed by this news. Guru was a pioneer and is truly deserving of the LEGEND title.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cornel West on Obama and his denial of a Black Agenda

Communities United Against Police Brutality newsletter

Communities United Against Police Brutality
February 22, 2010
Tons of great events coming up--a busy February and March.

Legal Update on the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Saturday, 2/27, 3:00 p.m.
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
William Mitchell Law School Professor Peter Erlinder will present an update on the latest legal rulings in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, political prisoner on death row in Pennsylvania. Mumia is the ultimate police brutality survivor. For years, he was a radio broadcaster telling the stories of oppressed people and he earned the nickname "voice of the voiceless." He also earned the ire of the Philly police, who promised that he would be made to pay for exposing their brutality and corruption. After being shot and severely beaten by police, he was then falsely charged and convicted of murder of a police officer who was killed in the same incident. Despite another man confessing to the shooting, Mumia has remained on death row for over 25 years. His case has taken many twists and turns as it moves through the legal system but one recurring theme has been that the system seems to have a separate set of rules just for Mumia every time his case goes to court. A recent decision by the US Supreme Court follows this trend as it bucked precedent to deny Mumia a new trial. Come learn about the current status of the case and what you can do to FREE MUMIA!
Calendar of Events with Dhoruba Bin-Wahad
In November 2009 Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, a former U.S. political prisoner, leader the Black Panther Party, and member of the Black Liberation Army, was detained and deported from the West Bank of occupied Palestine by Israeli authorities. He had been invited to attend a conference on political detention by the Palestinian Authority. Dhoruba spent 19 years of a life sentence in jail for a crime he did not commit. He was a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO, was arrested in 1971 and had his conviction overturned in 1990. He will discuss historic and current struggles against social injustice and state violence in the U.S. and in Palestine, with a specific focus on political prisoners and institutions that repress social movement mobilization within communities fighting oppression. During international Israel Anti-Apartheid week (March 1-7), join a wide array of Twin Cities organizations to hear this powerful speaker, who challenges conventional wisdom and inspires people to embrace social change. A flyer listing all events is at

Community Dinner with Dhoruba Bin Wahad
Sunday, 2/28, 7 p.m.
Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
$5 suggested donation, no one turned away due to lack of funds
CUAPB and the RNC 8 Defense Committee are hosting this community dinner and doing the cooking. Vegan, vegetarian and meat options will be available. Come out for some great food and be nourished in body and spirit.

Lecture and Q&A
Monday, 3/1, 7 p.m.
University of Minnesota's Blegen Hall, Room 5

Lecture and Q&A
Tuesday, 3/2, 11:15 a.m.
Hamline University, Sundin Music Hall
1536 Hewitt Ave, St. Paul

Lecture and Refreshments
Tuesday, 3/2, 6 p.m.
Historic Pilgrim Baptist Church
732 Central Ave, St. Paul (enter on west side of building)
This event is hosted by St. Paul NAACP.
Community Forum on Reappointment of Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan
Monday, 3/1, 6:30 p.m.
Shiloh Temple, 1201 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis
Enter parking lot from Girard, park in fenced in lot, enter through back of building.
This will be a repeat of the red-hot event that happened on the southside last month. Panelists will present information on why Dolan should not be reappointed and will arm the community with talking points and information for the 3/3 public hearing by the city council on Dolan's reappointment. Refreshments will be served.
Public Hearing on the Reappointment of Chief Dolan
Wednesday, 3/3, 1:30 p.m.
Minneapolis City Hall, Rm 317
Come and plan to speak out against the reappointment of Tim Dolan to Minneapolis police chief. CUAPB will distribute copies of a comprehensive report on Dolan's tenure as chief. We need to pack this meeting and make city hall see that we mean business. YOUR PRESENCE AT THIS HEARING IS VITAL--MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH TO BE THERE! Be sure to arrive early and sign up to speak.
CRA Board Meeting
Wednesday, 3/3, 6:30 p.m
Minneapolis City Hall, Rm 333.
350 S. Fifth Street (but enter on the 4th Street side)
After last month's wild ride and this month's legal action to force the CRA and Dolan to follow the law (see below) , the fur should be flying at this meeting. With some added surprises, perhaps one of the most exciting activist events this year. You will not want to miss this meeting!
These last few weeks have been quite the adventure with the Minneapolis Civilian Review Board. The CRA is a city agency outside of the police department that processes complaints on police conduct. The agency employs investigators and other staff members. A board of community members oversees the agency, holds hearings on and determines the outcome of complaints, makes policy recommendations, tracks and trends police brutality cases and does community outreach--at least that's what they are supposed to be doing. However, with a few notable exceptions, this board has been loathe to do anything of substance to hold the police department accountable. One shining exception has been Dave Bicking, city council candidate and long-time activist. Bicking consistently urges the board to push forward on important issues such as the Taser policy. He was the primary author of the recently released CRA Participation in Performance Review of MPD Chief Dolan (available at ), a report documenting Dolan's continued refusal to discipline sustained CRA cases based on bogus excuses.

As we told you in the last newsletter, Bicking participated in a forum on whether Chief Dolan should be reappointed and he was quoted in the paper expressing his opposition. In both instances, he made it clear that he was expressing only his own opinion, not speaking for the CRA. As a result, CRA board chair Donald Bellfield wrote a scathing letter to the mayor, city council, civil rights director and others slamming Bicking. However, the board never approved the letter, which was written on CRA letterhead and framed as if it was coming from the whole board. In other words, Bellfield is actually guilty of what he falsely accused Bicking of doing--speaking for the CRA board without their permission.

During its February 3 meeting, the board could have addressed this conduct by sending a letter to the same people who received the first letter clarifying that Bellfield's letter didn't represent the board. This would have been especially important to do as Bicking is coming up for reappointment. However, they would not pass a motion to do that. Apparently, they are too afraid of pissing off the power elite in city hall so they instead threw Bicking under the proverbial bus. Read the minutes from that meeting to see just how low those board members stooped:

On top of everything else, Chief Dolan showed up for less than 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting spouting a line about how much he respects the CRA. This, after three years of refusing to discipline their complaints, dissing them at every opportunity in the media, etc. He made vague promises about "working together." So, let me see. Now that he is up for reappointment, he is finally ready to "work together" with the same CRA he is so quick to criticize. It would have been hilarious except that most of the board members actually drank the koolaid. For months, we've been trying to get chair Bellfield to follow the part of the CRA ordinance that says the CRA chair “shall notify the executive committee [of the Minneapolis city council] of the chief’s failure to comply with the requirements of this section [172.130, Disciplinary Decisions].” Now that the CRA's report provides proof of Dolan's failure to follow the CRA ordinance, the CRA board was presented with a motion directing their chair to report that failure to the city council, as required by the ordinance. With the city council considering the reappointment of Dolan, timing is critical. Yet, this board refused to pass the motion stating they wanted to try to work things out with Dolan. Again, more proof that they would rather suck up to the power structure than assert their own power and serve the community. No wonder people in the community don't take them seriously.

Finally, the community got to speak. Usually the public speaking portion of the meeting happens before the board conducts business but acting chair weasel Justin Terrell engineered it so they would screw over Dave and the community before the community could try to stop them. Nonetheless, the packed room full of people expressed their sheer disgust with the board's failure to act. The minutes give a pretty accurate depiction of the comments, though it did leave out the part where Terrell tried to shut this editor up and I dared him to call the cops on me.

After seeing the total acquiescence of most of the CRA board to the city administration and police chief, we knew we had to do something. On February 12, we filed a petition for a Writ of Mandamus, a court order directing a public official to follow the law. The writ petition has two parts--one directs Bellfield to give notice to the city council about Dolan's violations of the law and that Dolan is subject to discipline for such failure, and the second part directs Dolan to show cause as to why he is not in violation of the law (he won't be able to, as he is in violation of the law). After the long holiday weekend, Judge Susan Burke granted the first part of our writ ordering Bellfield to submit the required notice to the city council by their 9:30 a.m. meeting the next day or show up in court. He was served the writ at his home but, amazingly, ignored it by neither filing the notice nor showing up in court. Instead, three city attorneys appeared in court (claiming they couldn't get ahold of him) and claimed the report on Dolan WAS the required notice, a ridiculous claim. After a short hearing, Judge Burke indicated she would "take the matter under advisement" and we are still waiting for a ruling. We certainly hope the judge will take note of the fact that a mere two hours after he was to have been in court, Bellfield was interviewed by Andy Mannix with City Pages--so much for being unavailable. Contempt of court doesn't seem like too strong of a sentiment.

We're also awaiting word on when we can depose Chief Dolan for the second half of the writ petition. This should happen soon.

At this point, the CRA board has done so much bowing to the power elite of this city that they really have ensured that the CRA cannot carry out its mission. This is truly sickening, given how hard the community has fought for a CRA in the first place. Perhaps the court will force the board chair to take a small action to reclaim the power of the CRA. Perhaps the court will also help to hold Chief Dolan accountable for thumbing his nose at CRA complaints. No matter what, the majority of the members on the CRA board have outed themselves as sycophants for the current administration. They should step down so they can be replaced by people who have the backbones to do the job.

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

Spooks at the door: Beware your cell phone

Caribbean/Latin American leaders chart course away from US influence


Friday, January 15, 2010

Tax-stealing bankers make record profit, dare masses to revolt.

Haitians fight for their lives: 'Crucial 72 hour survival window closing"

Wyclef Jean for people stateside: "Please text YELE to 501501 to donate $5
to Yele Haiti. Your money will help with relief efforts. They need our
help..please help if you can."

Thursday, January 14, 2010


May 3-5, 2010
Conference Center of the Hotel Méridien Président, Dakar, Senegal


The celebration of the hundredth birthday of Alioune Diop fortuitously
coincides with that of the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of
a large number of African countries. The African Community of Culture
is taking the initiative of inviting intellectuals, women and men of
culture to an international symposium on Alioune Diop, the man and his
work facing contemporary challenges.
By way of a very open discussion, the symposium will consider the
numerous dimensions of the work of an original and "universalist"
humanist; a man of dialogue, a pragmatic and committed man; a
freedom-loving African who refused any kind of racism. Alioune Diop it
is all that and a man of his time who summed up the sense of his
commitment to the editorial adventure of Présence Africaine: * As long
as the required standards are met, all articles will be published,
whenever they concern Africa, on condition that they betray neither
our antiracist, anticolonialist stand, nor our solidarity with the
colonized people *. As the first African to practice with rigour the
job of a publisher, he gave rise to talents that, without his
determination, would have undoubtedly been stifled by the implacable
ideological and repressive machine set up by the colonial system.

Thus, in Africa and in its diasporas, literary and scientific
productions of quality could be confirmed in changeable and various
contexts, marked by numerous challenges. That's why, after fifty years
of independence, it is important to review the work of Présence
Africaine in order to draw teachings for the future.

The hundredth birthday of the founder of the Présence Africaine
journal, this incomparable tool which in the service of the creation
of intellectuals in Africa and within the diasporas, forged by a man
who has lived as a model of efficiency and generosity in advancing his
ideal, gives us a lasting opportunity to ponder on the timeliness of
his struggle. By drawing inspiration from an exceptional trajectory,
we must read the past anew, think of the present time and imagine a

The symposium will be held during three days with five thematic panels
including a panel dedicated to youth-centered issues.
- Panel I: Présence Africaine: decolonization and cultural future of
Africa and its diasporas
- Panel II: Is it fitting to talk about Pan-Africanism and about a
Black World today?
- Panel III: The role of the African intellectuals and of the
diasporas in updating Alioune Diop's project.
- Panel IV: The timeliness of the Présence Africaine project in the
production and dissemination of knowledge in the 21st century.
- Panel V: Dialogue with young people. The timeliness of the Présence
Africaine's project and the issue of transmitting memories.

Participation form:

Name Forenames
Title: Rank / Function
Tél: Office Home
Fax: Office

I wish to make a presentation in Panel n*1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Kindly specify the title of your presentation(s):

Kindly forward a 10 to 20 lines abstract, if possible in French,
English, Spanish and Portuguese.
NB. Should you wish to make several presentations, you will have to
fill several forms.
Registration is free.

Kindly fill the form(s) and return to: &
Deadline: March 15, 2010

RIP Teddy Pendergrass

Another day of loss for the African diaspora....this baritone sang what would become the theme song of my pathetic to barely visible love life" Love TKO.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Early estimates of Haiti earthquake death toll put "hundreds of thousands dead"

Help Haiti anyway you can

Texting “HAITI” to 90999 will charge a $10 donation to the Red Cross on your next phone bill. Texting “yele” to 510 510 is also being tweeted and re-tweeted as a way to donate $5 to relief efforts via Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.

Health and Education Relief Organization,
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund,
Haitian Food Relief Organization for Children,

see also:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BBC News - Haiti earthquake feared to have killed many

I'm seeking information about relief efforts which will post as soon as we are informed. STAY INFORMED


Can we have a war crimes tribunal NOW?

Update on the latest US attempt to colonize Africa

Federal Reserve Seeks to Protect U.S. Bailout Secrets (Update1) -

You know, if and when niggahs eva become UNAFRAID of revolution, the Fed would make a great first place to burn down.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Book: Obama, Biden clashed in '08 - Jonathan Martin -

Team Mayweather Muzzled as Arum Screams Coward - Boxing Forum

I gotta admit, Mayweather Jr....I and everyone I know who loves boxing knew you were going to weasel out of this don't want any of Manny!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Trilateral Geithner: Corrupted Regulator?

Trilateral Geithner: Corrupted Regulator?

BBC News - Surprise rise in US job losses

BBC News - Is Osama Bin Laden dead or alive?

BBC News - Is Osama Bin Laden dead or alive?

Like most major american outlets, bbc is for the most part a propaganda tool of the shadow bankers running most western economies. This is a story they could have/should have done at least five years ago. The timing is ominously odd, what say you?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Communities United Against Police Brutality
January 6, 2010
In the haste to get out a newsletter after a long day at work, this editor made an error with one of the names in the article Happy New Year. Our sincere apologies. The corrected article:

2009 was certainly a busy year in CUAPB land, with the filing of our lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis for withholding CRA complaint data, the huge and technically challenging project of obtaining and cataloging RNC film footage from the City of St. Paul, supporting a record number of cases through our hotline, working for justice in the Fong Lee, Quincy Smith, Brandon Rodriguez and other cases. 2010 looks to be even busier. We'll begin airing a monthly cable access TV show soon and we're in the middle of launching other important initiatives that we're not quite ready to talk about yet. Let's just say that we think the work we will be doing should have a real impact on reducing levels of police brutality and increasing police accountability in our area. These have always been our twin goals and we look forward to working with you toward achieving them this year.


Robert Palmer Court Hearing
1/6/10 at 1:30 p.m.
Dakota County Courthouse
14955 West Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley

Here's Robert's story: On June 30, 2009 I honked my truck horn for peace while waiting for the light to change for a left hand turn at the intersection of Burnsville Parkway and Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville, Minnesota. Police were monitoring our peace vigil and they videotaped me while I was in the turn lane honking. Last year in response to other people getting ticketed for honking as they passed our vigil, the ACLU went to Court for one ticketed person and obtained a consent decree with the city of Burnsville. The consent decree stated that people would not be ticketed for honking at our vigil unless there was a safety issue. I was confident that by honking my horn and exercising my free speech I was not likely to be challenged by police. However, because in late June a car had struck a pedestrian several blocks away and an hour earlier than our vigil, the police Chief was now claiming that we were causing a safety hazard. I received a ticket in the mail. The ACLU agreed to represent me and ACLU attorney Howard Bass is handling my case. I invite persons who believe in free speech to come to show their support for our Constitutional right to express ourselves with free speech and horns.

1/6/10 at 7:00 p.m.
Minneapolis City Hall, 350 S 5th Street, Room 319

Here's a rundown of this event by CRA board member Dave Bicking: The CRA faces many challenges, not the least of which is a refusal of the Police Chief to impose meaningful discipline in most cases where we have substantiated charges of police misconduct. Tomorrow night's forum will address that issue, and other ways in which Chief Dolan's performance has impacted the ability of the CRA to carry out its mission. We have issued a report on the Chief's performance in areas important to the CRA. We will be presenting that report, discussing its implications, and soliciting questions and suggestions from those who come. I encourage you to come - to find out more about the relationship between the CRA and the Police Chief, and to help support the CRA, and the overall goal of accountability through civilian oversight of the police. Copies of the document will be available at the meeting. It can also be found online, at:

At this point, the mission of the CRA is in serious jeopardy. If we are to provide the service that is expected of us, we need better performance from the Police Chief. We can't leave it up to the Police to police the Police. The city ordinance that governs the CRA gives us the duty and power to participate in the performance review of the Chief of Police. That is what we have done, and we hope that our conclusions will be listened to.

Police Chief Dolan is up for re-appointment this January. There will be at least one public hearing on his re-appointment to another 3 year term. I hope you will also participate in that, and that this report and this forum will help inform you and others about the issue.

1/16/10 at 7:00 p.m.
TC Friends Meeting House
1725 Grand Ave, St. Paul
Suggested donation $5 - $15
Leave it to the RNC 8 to find another really fun way to raise funds. Long-time activist Mike Whalen will teach traditional Irish dancing and The Blackbirds will provide the tunes. Polish up you dance shoes and mark your calendar for this all-ages event. Come on out to rock your rear for this really great cause. Defend the RNC 8! Dissent is not a crime!
FREE SPEECH: Pittsburgh Man Gives Cop Middle Finger, Gets $50,000

PITTSBURGH (Associated Press) -- Pittsburgh City Council has tentatively approved paying $50,000 to settle a free speech lawsuit filed by a man cited for giving a city police officer the middle finger.

Thirty-five-year-old David Hackbart, of Butler, made the gesture at a driver in April 2006, then did it again when someone yelled at him -- realizing only later the second person was a police officer.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued saying Hackbart's gesture was constitutionally protected speech. A federal judge postponed a September trial indefinitely at the request of attorneys on both sides.

Council gave initial approval to the settlement Tuesday, but must vote again next week to finally approve the payment.

No court documents settling the case have been filed.
PRIVACY RIGHTS: Cellphone Searches
December 26, 2009

The Ohio Supreme Court has struck an important blow for privacy rights, ruling that the police need a warrant to search a cellphone. The court rightly recognized that cellphones today are a lot more than just telephones, that they hold a wealth of personal information and that the privacy interest in them is considerable. This was the first such ruling from a state supreme court. It is a model for other courts to follow.

Searches generally require warrants, but courts have carved out limited categories in which they are not needed. One of these is that police officers are allowed, when they arrest people, to search them and the area immediately surrounding them, as well as some kinds of containers in their possession.

When the police arrested Antwaun Smith on drug charges they seized his cellphone and searched it, examining his call records. The police did not have a warrant or the consent of Mr. Smith.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this month, by a 4-to-3 vote, that the search violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Rather than seeing a cellphone as a simple closed container, the majority noted that modern cellphones ­ especially ones that permit Internet access ­ are “capable of storing a wealth of digitized information.”

This is information, the court said, for which people reasonably have a high expectation of privacy, and under established Fourth Amendment principles, police officers must get a search warrant before they can look through call logs or examine other data. The court wisely decided that it made no sense to try to distinguish among various kinds of cellphones based on what specific functions they have. All cellphones, the court said, fall under the search warrant requirement.

Few federal courts have considered the issue of cellphone searches, and they have disagreed about whether a warrant should be required. The Ohio ruling eloquently makes the case for why the very personal information that new forms of technology aggregate must be accorded a significant degree of privacy.
SHADES OF POST RNC: DC agrees to pay $13M over arrests of protesters
By Sarah Karush
Associated Press

WASHINGTON ­ The District of Columbia said Monday it has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle a lawsuit by protesters arrested during demonstrations nine years ago.

The preliminary agreement includes a maximum payment of $18,000 to each of the 680 people who were arrested at the April 2000 protests tied to meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said the maximum payout, including attorneys' fees is $13.3 million. However, because of the cap on individual payouts, the total could be less, depending on how many people come forward.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, of the Partnership for Civil Justice, said that in addition to the $13.3 million for the class, there are some additional payments for specific plaintiffs who claim they were beaten, bringing the total to $13.7 million. Verheyden-Hilliard's group represented the plaintiffs.

According to the class-action lawsuit, protesters and bystanders were trapped on all sides by police and then arrested in a calculated attempt to disrupt days of planned protests. Many people were held for hours without access to food, water and restrooms, and some were held in stress positions, the plaintiffs alleged.

As part of the settlement, D.C. police assigned to demonstrations and officers from partner agencies will receive enhanced training, said Verheyden-Hilliard.

But Nickles said the police department has already changed significantly since the time of the mass arrests in 2000 and 2002.

"I'm committed to try to get this chapter of sound and fury closed with respect to these demonstration cases," Nickles said.

Earlier this month, the city settled a lawsuit with eight anti-war protesters arrested in 2002, agreeing to pay $450,000.

Verheyden-Hilliard said Monday's announcement sends an important message: "People are willing to spend as long as it takes to vindicate their rights."

The case is known as Becker et al. v. District of Columbia. It's named after Benjamin Becker. Now 25, Becker was a 16-year-old from Baltimore when he came to Washington to protest "against the broad, neoliberal, globalization agenda" with his father, who helped organize the demonstration.

After the arrests, Becker was separated from his father and taken to a juvenile facility.

His father, Brian Becker, ended up being held for hours in a stress position, with his right hand tied to his left foot, the elder Becker recalled. He refused to pay a fine and was the only demonstrator arrested that day who was brought to trial. He was acquitted of disorderly conduct and refusal to obey.
SICK COP: Court says Mpls. officer went too far in fondling during prostitution sting

[Editor's note: Despite this ruling from the courts, the officer has yet to be disciplined by his boss, Tim Dolan.]

Last update: November 24, 2009 - 9:51 PM

An undercover Minneapolis police officer engaged in outrageous conduct when he fondled a masseuse who was the target of a prostitution investigation, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a decision that could open the door for criminal defendants in other sting investigations.

The police officer, David Pleoger, violated Betsy Burkland's right to due process when he initiated the sexual contact with her and allowed it to escalate, Judge Wilhelmina Wright wrote in a decision for a three-judge panel that also included Judges Terri Stoneburner and Larry Stauber.

Burkland was appealing her conviction in a lower court. Her attorney said he believes the decision marks the first time an appellate court in the United States has ruled that an officer's sexual conduct in a prostitution sting violated due process.

The ruling said that the officer went to Peaceful Image Tanning and Bodyworks in 2008 after receiving a tip about prostitution. He met Burkland, arranged a one-hour massage for $70 and then took off his clothes in a massage room. When Burkland entered the room, she offered to perform the massage topless for an extra $30 and the officer accepted.

After a while, Burkland asked the officer to turn onto his back, and he asked if he could touch her breasts, the court said. She put oil on her hands and rubbed his genitals. He asked if the "release" was included in the $100 fee and she said yes.

Through her lawyer, Jeffrey Dean, Burkland said that she is thankful for the decision. "I hope this will deter the police from treating other similarly situated women in such a manner."

Said Dean: "The proper way to conduct a prostitution sting is for the officer to get a verbal agreement of sex for money and then make the arrest. The evidence is the words of the agreement. The police are not free to go on and sport with the suspected prostitute."

He called Pleoger's conduct "outrageous and abusive."

The court's decision said that to prove prostitution, an officer had to show that Burkland "agreed to engage" in sexual contact for money.

Wright wrote that Pleoger could have obtained the information needed for a conviction by inquiring about the "release" at any point in the conversation.

The officer's initiation of sexual contact met the threshold for outrageous governmental conduct and reversal of the convictions, the court determined. The state Supreme Court has previously ruled that an undercover officer can expose himself to a prostitute at her insistence to avoid being discovered as law enforcement.

"There is no evidence in the record, nor did the officer contend, that Burkland's conduct was necessary to dispel a suspicion that he was a police officer," Wright wrote.

Reaction to verdict

Twin Cities defense attorney Ryan Pacyga said the case signals that the court is willing to restrict police conduct, noting that the touching of the breasts was enough to get the case thrown out. He said a similar defense could be used in drug and fraud investigations. "To me it's an exciting defense. You can bet that I'm going to try it," Pacyga said.

The case was initially heard by Hennepin County Judge Charles Porter.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city is disappointed. "This case went to trial, and the District Court ruled that the officer's conduct was in line with constitutional standards for a criminal investigation," she said. "This was an investigation triggered by complaints about the operation of a massage parlor."

She said the city is reviewing the decision and considering whether to appeal.

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said only that he is asking for an internal inquiry into how the investigation was handled.

Pacyga said he expects the city to appeal.

The current state Supreme Court has recently issued decisions showing a willingness to restrict defendants' options, including a ruling that bong water is a controlled substance and that sentencing juveniles to life without the possibility of release isn't cruel or unusual.

Pleoger, who is assigned to the Third Precinct in south Minneapolis, didn't return a call.

Rochelle Olson 612-673-1747
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE: Colbert Makes Comic Fodder of Minneapolis Cops

Check out the hilarious video of Stephen Colbert taking on one of Minneapolis' recent Taser incidents: As he says, "An officer uses a Minnesota man as human jumper cables, and the Taser XREP lets you tase people from the comfort of your clock tower. Don't forget to play our home game."
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)
Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South