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The continuing battle of Sgt. Michael Keefe

And the disappearance of  Black police officers from the MPD








See my August 29, 2007 column regarding the courageous battle waged by Lt. Michael Keefe of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), “A profile in courage and integrity — the saga of Lt. Michael Keefe” (link below). Keefe was demoted to sergeant as part of a mean-spirited vendetta against this White officer and against some African American police officers. The August 2007 column provides insight into the latest battles currently being fought within the city and within its police department. And even though Mayor Betsy Hodges and city council members have said they are committed to equity and fairness in the governance of the city of Minneapolis, a couple of major battles centering around equity in the MPD questions their commitment. The first deals with the attempt by the City of Minneapolis, in State District Court, to avoid releasing information from the now six-and-a-half year lawsuit battle brought by then Lt. and now Sgt. Continue Reading →

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Toxic and corrupt environment in civil rights department

Retaliation continues in the department I now call the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights Misconduct. Former employees of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department affirmed this in testifying to its “toxic” environment at the March 19 hearing on the reappointment of Velma Korbel to head the department. Among those testifying were Ms. Semone Desal and Ms. Kristin White. Ms. White testified that when she reported to human resources of the environment of corruption and cronyism inside the department, she was fired the next day. It is telling that the council votes were split, 9-3, to reappoint. Continue Reading →

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Nine hundred complaints disappear

Only 16 cases under investigation

The Police Misconduct Board operates under the custody and control of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department. The Police Misconduct Board has hired a significant number of attorneys over the last year. They receive a nice stipend to review and make determinations regarding allegations of police misconduct. Observers as well as workers in City Hall want to know why, under Michael Brown, 900 police complaints, going back several years, have now been jettisoned with no more than 16 active investigations. Police officers call this “bait and switch” and unidentified “Xs and Os.”

Nine hundred complaints have been passed through a shredder. Continue Reading →

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Mpls police attempt to sully character of Terrance Franklin

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer


The Star Tribune headlines read “New DNA evidence in Franklin case” and “Terrance Franklin DNA tied to gun.” The headlines referenced a press conference held by Minneapolis police last week revealing supposed new evidence that a neighbor near where Franklin was killed found a gun that supposedly had been in Franklin’s possession on the day he was killed by police. According to the police, the gun was in a sock, and Terrance’s DNA was on the sock. However, Terrance’s DNA was not on the gun, nor were fingerprints found on the gun. So police appear to be saying now that Franklin had a gun when he was pursued by police but stashed it up the block before hiding in the house where he met his demise. However, the police said in the press conference that this is not the conclusion they are drawing. Continue Reading →

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When bribery and corruption causes death!

In the deaths of five children in North Minneapolis
On Saturday, February 15, 2014, Minneapolis Fire Department units rushed to a blazing and fatal fire at 2818 Colfax Avenue, North. Five beautiful, precious and innocent children lost their lives. The father, who lost his wife to heart disease a couple of months ago, now loses five of his children. He tried to rescue them. Three were burnt beyond recognition. Continue Reading →

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A reappointment that is a mistake

Velma Korbel to again head Dept. of Civil Rights

Velma Korbel’s reappointment by newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges to continue as Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) director is a huge mistake that nonetheless exposes the city culture we have long reported: that city government, regardless of who is in charge, is a culture opposed to diversity (the silence on this by the DFL, churches, foundations, and Black nonprofits places them in the same culture). Shamefully, leading Black organizations participate in this culture as they compete for their share of the spoils at the expense of those they are supposed to serve and represent. Velma Korbel’s reappointment continues a departmental disaster going back through two permanent directors and one interim director. The African American community will continue to be ill served as seen by the 99 percent White work force of the Vikings stadium. Continue Reading →

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Adoption celebrated during Black History Month

During February, Black History Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and several nonprofit and community organizations are working together to encourage families to adopt children waiting in the foster care system, particularly African American children who are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. “All children need safe, stable, loving homes to thrive,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “During Black History Month, we are celebrating the African American families who have adopted and encouraging other families to consider adoption. We, along with our community partners, are here to provide support before, during and after adoption.”

Added Edward McDonald, executive director of the Council on Black Minnesotans, “As we celebrate the rich history of African Americans during the month of February, let us also use the month to begin doubling our efforts for the remainder of the year encouraging more African American families to adopt and provide foster care for children who are wards of the state, especially the disproportionate number of African American children. The greatest historical remembrance an African American child, or any child, can have is one that is highlighted by the love and care of a family.”

Throughout February adoption-specific events include:

The Minnesota Heart Gallery is featuring foster children in need of adoptive families in its large lobby display at the East Side Neighborhood Services Building, 1700 Second St. Continue Reading →

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State of emergency in Minnesota

When corporate and government greed take over America


“State of emergency!” declared Governor Mark Dayton, January 27, 2014. Minnesota is cancelled due to the cold, said Star Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas, tongue in cheek. But it’s no joke. Governor Dayton activated Minnesota’s National Guard to help with safety and rescue situations, opened Minnesota National Guard armories as shelter for people without heat, and called for a meeting with propane sellers and distributors to discuss price gouging. The Governor pushed to the sidelines issues not of life and death, lesser issues like the Vikings stadium and the Minnesota bid for Super Bowl 2018, as he spoke to the hardship suffered by Minnesotans and others in the upper Midwest due to the dangerous shortage of propane gas to combat the cold in a nation of abundant energy. Continue Reading →

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Race discrimination persists in school discipline practices

By Mary Turck

Contributing Writer


In early January, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder jointly announced new federal guidelines on school discipline. Why? “Racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem today, and not just an issue from 40 to 50 years ago,” said Duncan. Want numbers? The new guidelines have plenty:

“The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), conducted by OCR, has demonstrated that students of certain racial or ethnic groups tend to be disciplined more than their peers. Continue Reading →

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“To the extent practical”

Escape language in legislation allows steel purchase outside Iron Range


The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority met November 22, 2013, to sign the contract to put the final stadium construction process and procedures into place. The local daily newspaper’s picture of John Wood of M.A. Mortenson, shaking hands with a colleague, with a large group of people smiling and applauding in the background, shows how well steel facts were withheld as happy faces turned unhappy within 24 hours as people realized not all the steel would come from Minnesota, as “promised.”

The legislative language: “to the extent practical…MN steel” (see Stadium legislation, Section 11, lines 2423-2424) is the escape hatch from “all Minnesota.” This is how the State and City continually get away with not hiring Black Americans on construction projects, using equivalencies of good-faith effort, as we’ve long reported. Now its the Iron Range White man’s turn, as 20 percent of stadium steel will come from steel mines of ArcelorMittal (in the Duchy of Luxembourg, Ruhr Valley, near Germany). After Mittal bought Arcelor in 2006, the Mittal family of India has owned 40 percent of ArcelorMittal. The issue is not where the steel comes from (you want the best so the stadium doesn’t collapse). Continue Reading →

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