Mike Freeman

Recent Articles

HN county attorney challenges staff to reduce Black youth incarceration

Front_blackyouthinjail2feature

Taxpayers nationwide pay an estimated $8 to $21 billion each year to keep juveniles in jail according to a December 2014 Justice Policy Institute report, which found that the national average confinement cost last year ranged from $400 per day or nearly $150,000 a year for each incarcerated youth. Minnesota ranked 15th among the 46 states the nonprofit justice reform group studied, coming in at $287.23 per day or almost $105,000 per year per youth. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Mayor Rybak,et al prove cowardly ineffective — Is the political leadership’s goal to make Mpls. unfriendly toward Blacks?

 

 

Minneapolis political leaders prove once again that they see the Black community as fools. No one has been deceived by the weak apology and weak response by the mayor’s office and City Councilman Don Samuels to the misbehavior of Minneapolis police officers Thole and Powell in Green Bay recently. In fact, I suspect that the fact that the leadership confined their comments to what they hope would happen is evidence of their cowardice and maybe even complicity. Yes, complicity. At this hour in Minneapolis when it has become more than obvious that there is rogue force, or at least a culture in the Minneapolis police that believes it is above the law, what is needed is decisive leadership. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Much at stake in police investigation of Franklin death

 

 

In view of stories and commentary published in this newspaper and in other media the past two months concerning the May 10 death of Terrance Franklin at the hands of Minneapolis police, the MSR urges the responsible authorities to immediately reassure the public in general and the African American community in particular that justice will be done in determining exactly what occurred in this deadly exchange and, should any police misconduct be discovered, it will be suitably punished. The circumstances are ugly: A young, unarmed Black man suspected of burglary is trapped in a basement by five armored and armed-to-the-teeth SWAT officers as well as an unleashed police dog and, from all appearances, ends up executed gangland-style, with two of the officers somehow wounded in an exchange that remains a puzzle. Police accounts are contradictory. Equivocations by the police chief, silence from the mayor and city council, withholding of evidence from the family by the county attorney — all of this fans the flames of discontent within communities long subjected to police abuse and growing more and more impatient with official cover-ups. Add to this toxic mix a cop known for his abusive tactics and racial epithets against Blacks (as well as many others) who former chief Tim Dolan called “a great performer” and who has been awarded several awards and medals in spite of his history of abuse, and a potentially explosive discontent threatens to overwhelm the rational prosecution of justice in the case of MPD v. Terrance T. Franklin. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Help! They’re trying to get away with a crime — possibly murder!

 

 

A crime has been committed in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, and those who are charged with running the city, Mayor R.T. Rybak, the Minneapolis City Council the Hennepin County commissioners, the attorney general, the Chamber of Commerce, and the business community are all complicit by their silence. Terrance Franklin is dead. He was shot in the head five times and in the back twice, admittedly by Minneapolis police. Officer Lucas Petterson has supposedly taken credit for shooting Franklin. But Petterson’s and his fellow officers’ stories of what happened don’t make sense and don’t explain why he was shot in the back and in the back of the head. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Franklin case goes to county attorney, then Grand Jury — Will another Grand Jury sanction police shootings of young Blacks?

 

 

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) announced two weeks ago that they had completed the investigation into the shooting of T.T. Franklin and forwarded their findings to the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman. The Star Tribune reported, “The case will get an initial review from the county attorney’s office before it is sent to the grand jury” (Star Tribune, June 7, 2013, “County attorney’s office to review Terrence Franklin shooting”). As Sportin’ Life would say: ”It ain’t necessarily so,” as all evidence is not in. How can the City or the Black community craft response strategies without a finished evidence report (DNA, finger prints, wound analysis, blood, urine, etc., etc.)? On May 18, the MPD said it would take at least four months to complete the forensic investigation and four to five weeks for the final determination from the medical examiner. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,