Janee Harteau

Recent Articles

Pilot program outfits 36 Mpls cops with body cams

More police ‘accountability and transparency’ are hoped-for outcomes
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis City and police officials pledge that the body camera pilot program now in effect will “enhance transparency and accountability.” Mayor Betsy Hodges, both during her election campaign and after taking office, has advocated the body camera use by police. Since last Friday, 36 Minneapolis police officers from the First, Fourth and Fifth precincts have been wearing body cameras during their on-duty shifts. Police Chief Janeé Harteau told the MSR at the November 7 City Hall press conference, when asked if the cameras will help improve strained relations between her department and the Black community, “I would think it would be an absolute help to be able to capture the officers’ interactions with the public.”

Two different camera types will be used in the pilot program. Officials believe that because of Minnesota’s typical unpredictable weather, this is a good time to test them. Minneapolis is one of the northernmost cities to use body cameras. Continue Reading →

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MPD chief a no-show at community forum on police violence

Harteau’s absence attributed to ‘public safety’ threats
 
By Khymyle Mims

Contributing Writer

This past Thursday night, citizens from across the city gathered at the Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis to take part in a “listening session” with the chief of police and other individuals who teach and work in the criminal justice field. Over 100 people from the community gathered to ask questions and express their concerns about police corruption and brutality in Minneapolis and elsewhere around the country. The plan was to direct these concerns to a panel consisting of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, U of M Professor Dr. Rose Brewer, and author and Metropolitan State University Criminal Justice Professor Jason Sole, as well as lawyer and chair of the Police Conduct Oversight Commission Jennifer Singleton. Instead, the crowd addressed only Sole, Brewer and Singleton due to Harteau deciding not to attend. It was later relayed to the audience that Harteau’s decision came from her feeling it was not safe for her to participate. Continue Reading →

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Youth Coordinating Board lauded for making Downtown Mpls safer

By Jerry Freeman

Senior Editor

 

The joint goal of the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) and the Downtown Council last summer was “to interrupt a troubling behavior cycle of disruptive and disengaged youth” in the city’s downtown area. “The results are more than impressive,” noted Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau at a February 13 morning ceremony at Minneapolis City Hall, pointing to a 42 percent reduction in juvenile crime in the downtown area and an eight percent decrease in overall violent crime last year. “There [also] was an 11 percent decrease in “late night” violent crime,” she added. Harteau credits the work of the YCB, who partnered with local large corporations and community groups “to connect the troubled teens to opportunities. They promoted better behavior guidelines…offering the teens passes and bus tokens to help them get home safely.”

Sixteen YCB staff members were presented with the Chief’s Award of Merit Certificate during the City Hall ceremony: Akim Anderson, James Everett, Bryon Hawkins, Terrall Lewis, Tameika Williams, Shane Zahn, Latoya Balogun, Johnell Hallman, Wendell Johnson, Dave Marcotte, Darrell Young, Evan Barnett, Tangene Hayslett, Sarah Klouda, Jernell McLane and Amged Yusuf. Continue Reading →

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The MSR 2013 year in review

The local Black press continues to publish stories “from our own lens”
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

This year, 2013, was historic as well as a year-long full of highs and lows: Two MSR reporters were among the national and international press that covered America’s first Black president’s second inauguration in January. Said Atlanta Daily World reporter Kenya King, a member of the Black press who was covering the Obama inauguration for the second time, “I’m here to capture…the moment of this historic occasion [and] to make sure that the message that should get across, does get across.”

A ‘new Black agenda’ was discussed by the Council on Black Minnesotans and others during the organization’s Lobby Day at the State Capitol on March 19. The MSR asked several Blacks in attendance that day if they felt new voices and perhaps a new message is needed from Black Minnesotans. “I think it is time for new voices to be heard,” believed Greater Friendship Missionary

Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Billy Russell in our March 28 front-page story. The MSR also continued its coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the introduction of MNsure, the state’s new health-insurance exchange program and how the new healthcare law will benefit Blacks. Continue Reading →

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Family of Terrance Franklin: ‘We will fight’

Attorney suspects cover-up of one officer’s ‘anger decision’ 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 Click here for Terrence Franklin autopsy report file

 

After a grand jury decision to not bring charges against Minneapolis police for the shooting death of Terrance Franklin, his family still feels justice has not been done and plans to file a civil wrongful-death suit against the City in about 30 days. Attorney Michael Padden said during a September 26 press conference in downtown Minneapolis that the Franklin family still seeks “a leveled playing field” and will continue to pursue justice for their son. “The primary reason

 

that “They killed my son,” added Walter Franklin, Terrance’s father. The MSR afterwards spoke exclusively to Walter Franklin. “I technically can’t tell anyone how I feel about [losing] someone very close to you, this being your first seed,” said Franklin. Continue Reading →

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The chief reaches out — Harteau meets with Black officers

 

 

The last couple of months have been challenging for the administration of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau. She is showing she can meet challenges and seek solutions. The incidents embarrassing to the department — in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Green Bay, Wisconsin, downtown Minneapolis, the shooting death of Terrance Franklin, etc. — show how the rank and file have become their own worst enemy, creating problems for the department, seeding suspicion in communities of color, and reducing their credibility in White communities. Chief Janeé Harteau’s recent decision to reach out to Black officers in her department showed she is developing a keen understanding of why and how to bring everyone to the table, demonstrating growth and maturity. Continue Reading →

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County Attorney Freeman on Terrance Franklin case: ‘It’ll be up to a grand jury’ — MSR inquires into historical failures to prosecute police for misconduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Historically, many local Blacks believe that no matter what evidence is presented, nothing happens to Minneapolis police officers for misconduct against people of color. The May 10 death of Terrance Franklin, reportedly at the hands of City police, has thus far done nothing to erase such beliefs. A common theme expressed during recent public demonstrations is that the city’s Black community has no confidence in the police department investigating Franklin’s death or in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office that might or might not do anything to the responsible officer or officers for acts of misconduct. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman pledges that his office will do anything in its power to see that justice is done in the Franklin case. Freeman spoke one-on-one with the MSR last week for nearly an hour. Continue Reading →

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Family suspects police cover-up in Terrance Franklin shooting

 
Uncle says ‘crazed individual’ profiled in media is not his nephew
 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Something happened May 10 after he allegedly was earlier involved in a theft. Exactly what happened in the basement of that South Minneapolis house May 10, the day Terrance Franklin was shot and killed by Minneapolis police, remains a mystery to all but the police officers involved. Although the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) investigation is still ongoing, Franklin’s family still seeks answers to their questions nearly a month after his death. They question earlier police reports that say their son shot two MPD officers with a submachine gun. They also question the extent to which a racial element may have played a role in the man’s death. Continue Reading →

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Speculation runs wild in Franklin shooting case — Without an ‘official’ report, family and friends remain skeptical

 

 

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

Terrance Franklin, the 22-year-old who on May 10 was shot and killed in the basement of a South Minneapolis home by police after a pursuit, appeared to have been shot five times in the back of the head and twice in the back according to a knowledgeable source who saw Franklin’s body; the source requests that his/her name be withheld. The shooting has left many questions unanswered. While it’s still not clear how or why Franklin died at the hands of Minneapolis police, the circumstances around the police chase have raised eyebrows as well. Citizens have questioned why police called in a SWAT team as well as canine units, and why the police were strapped with submachine guns to give chase to a suspected burglar. Police radio transmissions from the day of the event do not reveal that police thought he was armed or dangerous. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities suffers from de facto discrimination

 

 

In the Twin Cities everywhere there are signs that the colorblind and just society that some have tried to convince themselves exists in liberal Minnesota is simply a fallacy. It’s a fallacy that allows all the well-meaning folks to sleep well at night. Everywhere one looks there are signs of two Twin Cities, one for the White and well off and the other for the colored and dispossessed. A Twin Cities kept separate and unequal by de facto discrimination is what best describes our race relations. De facto means that, unlike de jure discrimination, it is not ensconced in the law. Continue Reading →

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