Cops trying to make the best of an ugly situation.

Mendota Heights cops take daughter of slain officer to her dance

Bob CollinsBob Collins March 9, 2015, 8:12 AM

Typically, Amy Patrick’s dad would have accompanied her to her school’s father-daughter dance on Saturday night. But he couldn’t, because he was shot to death by a meth dealer last year in Mendota Heights. Her dad is Scott Patrick, the police officer.

She went to her school’s dance on Saturday night, however. She was accompanied by seven Mendota Heights cops, KSTP reported.


(Video link)

“We cannot replace Scott, and we’re not going to try to,” Officer Mike Shepherd said. “But we can make sure that Erin and Amy, both, are not ever standing alone in those times where Scott would have been there for them.”

 

Do you see a pattern yet?

Duluth police make drug arrests in wake of recent overdose cases

By News Tribune Today at 1:15 p.m.

 In the wake of a recent surge of drug overdoses in the Northland, Duluth police have arrested two suspected heroin dealers and have issued an arrest warrant for a third.
 
Duluth police on Wednesday arrested Devon Maurice Bowser, 30, and Cue Travon Gipson, 34; both made initial appearances in State District Court on Friday.

Gipson faces a felony charge of a second-degree controlled substance crime and was being held Friday on $50,000 bail. Bowser is charged with sale of a simulated controlled substance, a felony, and was being held Friday on $10,000 bail.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a third suspect, 30-year-old Raymond Valentino Bowser, who has an arrest warrant for 5th-degree heroin possession and who is sought for questioning in other drug cases.

Anyone with information on Raymond Bowser’s whereabouts is asked to call 911, or the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force at (218) 730-5750.

Northland law enforcement authorities reported earlier this week at least two recent deaths in the region that are believed to have been caused by opioid overdoses. Authorities also are investigating at least a dozen other recent medical emergencies that could be drug-related.

Explore related topics:NEWSDULUTHPOLICE 

Friday news dump.

Report: Justice Dept. to Bring Corruption Charges Against a Sitting Democratic Senator

CNN reported Friday that the Obama administration’s Justice Department is about to bring criminal corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), for accepting gifts from a Florida businessman, and then using his power as a senator to help that businessman.

According to CNN, the case involves Salomon Melgen, a donor who has paid for trips Menendez took to the Dominican Republic. The report said Menendez defended Melgen when he was accused of bilking Medicare out of funding, and that Menendez may have improperly tried to win an infrastructure contract for Melgen in the Dominican Republic.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 2.21.35 PM

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is facing criminal corruption charges as the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department. Image: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

CNN said Menendez has been the subject of investigation from the FBI and the Justice Department, and that formal charges could be filed soon.

Those charges would create even further friction between Menendez and the Obama administration, which are already at odds over President Barack Obama’s effort to negotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran. Menendez, a Cuban-American, also opposes Obama’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba.

A prime example of the taxpayers being treated as the “enemy”. God bless Mark Levin and his foundation.

Judge Slams EPA’s ‘Offensively Unapologetic’ Handling of Conservative Group’s FOIA

March 4, 2015 – 4:06 PM

(CNSNews.com) – A federal judge on Monday strongly criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for being either careless or incompetent, calling the agency “offensively unapologetic” in its mishandling of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from at least one conservative group.

Also, concerning one EPA employee in particular, the judge said the person “at best, demonstrated utter indifference to EPA’s FOIA obligations” and “at worst” the employee “is lying,” although there is not enough evidence in the record to determine which conclusion is correct.

 

lamberthJudge Royce Lamberth, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (AP)

In his opinion in the case of Landmark Legal Foundation v. the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth described the EPA’s attitude toward FOIA requests as “shoddy,” “offensive” and “insulting” after the agency effectively ignored and continually botched a FOIA request from the LLF, a right-leaning law firm, in 2012. 

Lamberth also said, “At bottom, EPA’s handling of Landmark’s request leaves far too much room for a reasonable observer to suspect misconduct.”

“Two possible explanations exist for EPA’s conduct following Landmark Legal Foundation’s filing of a Freedom of Information Act request in 2012,” Lamberth wrote in his opinion, released Monday, Mar. 2. “Either EPA sought to evade Landmark’s lawful FOIA request so the agency could destroy responsive documents, or EPA demonstrated carelessness toward Landmark’s request.”

“Either scenario reflects poorly upon EPA and surely serves to diminish the public’s trust in the agency,” he added.

On Aug. 17, 2012, the Landmark Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm run by well-known conservative attorney Mark Levin, filed a FOIA request with the EPA asking for information and records regarding any outside environmental groups the agency had consulted or communicated with on policy and regulations.

 

mark levinMark Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. (FNC screenshot)

The LLF also asked for any records showing that the EPA was slowing or delaying the announcement of any regulations or public comment opportunities until after the presidential election on Nov. 6 of 2012. 

The short, two-part FOIA started a series a actions in the EPA that would last more than two years.

The EPA first denied LLF’s request for expedited processing in October of 2012. The agency then issued a notice to 45 of its employees to preserve “potentially relevant information” relating to the FOIA request with a due date of October 30.

This notice, however, was not sent to the agency’s top two officials, then-Administrator Lisa Jackson and Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe.

Aaron Dickerson, special assistant to the Administrator, and Nena Shaw, then-special assistant to the Deputy Administrator, reportedly received but did not respond to the notice, and were not given the due date, Lamberth said.

The agency then dragged its feet on responding to the FOIA until well after the Nov. 6 election, when President Barack Obama was ultimately elected for a second term. The EPA officials also failed to conduct a thorough search for potentially relevant EPA records, including searching Administrator Jackson’s personal email accounts that she used for government business, Lamberth noted in his opinion.

 

 

Lisa Jackson, EPAFormer EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (AP Photo)

Jackson’s Blackberry, which easily could have contained relevant information, was erased following her resignation in February 2013, Lamberth added. 

Lamberth also noted that “there is no evidence in the record that…anyone…conducted a search of the Deputy Administrator’s records prior to December 20, 2014” – more than two years after the initial FOIA request was filed.

On top of failing to look through relevant records, Special Assistant Nena Shaw also claimed to have experienced “technical difficulties” while transferring information to the collection database. Instead, she “printed the responsive records” but “does not recall precisely what happened to the printed records,” Lamberth said.

“Such an assertion is about as close to a sworn ‘dog ate my homework’ statement as one can make,” Lamberth said, adding that “the Court can only conclude that such responsive records – if they ever existed in the first instance – have been lost.”

Lamberth further said, “At best, Shaw demonstrated utter indifference to EPA’s FOIA obligations. At worst, Shaw is lying. There is not enough in the record from either Landmark or EPA to determine which is correct. What is clear, however, is that Shaw goes out of her way to avoid presenting any defined timeline for her search-related activities, which only adds to the fuzziness of her declaration.”

Despite slamming the EPA for its poor management of the LLF’s information request, Lamberth denied LLF’s request for sanctions against the agency for withholding information, explaining that LLF could not prove that EPA officials acted in “bad faith,” and that “[n]egligence is insufficient to impose punitive sanctions.”

However, that did not stop Lamberth from stating that the EPA’s “offensively unapologetic” mishandling of the FOIA request “leaves far too much room for a reasonable observer to suspect misconduct.”

“The Court is left wondering whether EPA has learned from its mistakes, or if it will merely continue to address FOIA requests in the clumsy manner that has seemingly become its custom,” Lamberth said.

“This Court would implore the Executive Branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests – regardless of the political affiliation of the requester – are treated with equal respect and consciousness,” he added.

Responding to Lamberth’s opinion, Levin accused the EPA of viewing Americans as “public enemies,” calling their mishandling of FOIA requests “reprehensible.”

“Judge Lamberth’s decision should be a complete embarrassment for everyone at the Environmental Protection Agency,” Levin said. “Their conduct, from start to finish in this case, was reprehensible, and the Judge made clear that they avoided severe punitive sanctions only because of the narrowly defined requirements of the law.”

“The corporate culture at the EPA, from the Administrator down to the most junior administrative assistant, is that of an imperial bureaucracy answerable only to its own ideological agenda,” Levin added. “To them, the American public are nothing but public enemies. And the EPA shouldn’t judge its success in handling FOIA requests by whether or not any of its people wound up facing federal contempt charges or possible criminal prosecution.”

 

Wait…do you mean they aren’t here for the bike trails, the outdoors, or the fishing? Unbelievable.

The new voter block for your communities and the DFL lifestyle.  Hope and change homey… if you voted for it, I hope you enjoy what you’re getting.

Federal bust nets seven drug trafficking indictments in Minnesota

By Robb Jeffries, Forum News Service on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:55 p.m.

 MINNEAPOLIS — Seven members of Minneapolis-area gangs have been indicted on federal charges of distributing crack cocaine in the Twin Cities and as far away as Duluth and Fargo, N.D.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with the Minneapolis Police Department and U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger, announced Wednesday the charges against members of the Taliban and Young N Thuggin gangs.

“Leaders and members of the Taliban and YNT are charged with using violence and intimidation to control a drug distribution operation stretching from Minneapolis to Fargo,” he said. “Working closely with our law enforcement partners, we are continuing to investigate and stop drug dealers and the violence that too often accompanies their illegal activity.”

According to the indictment, the Taliban and Young N Thuggin gangs frequently traveled from their territory in north Minneapolis to Duluth, St. Cloud and Fargo, among other cities, to sell crack cocaine.

Lt. Jeff Kazel of the Duluth Police Department, who serves as commander of the Lake Superior Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, said two of those indicted were suspects in a case in Duluth last fall, but there was not enough evidence to press charges at that time. Kazel said Duluth police are continuing to cooperate with Minneapolis police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to successfully prosecute the suspects.

Lt. Michael Mitchell of the Fargo Police Department said the drug pipeline from the Twin Cities to Fargo is well known by law enforcement officials in North Dakota.

“We know there is a connection between Fargo and Minneapolis with those kinds of drugs,” he said. “The reason that drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine come in (to Fargo) is the street value is three to four times higher here than in Minneapolis. We’re a little more rural here, and supply-and-demand kicks in.”

Court documents said a single-use amount of crack cocaine — known as a pill or rock — that the Taliban and YNT sells for $20 in Minneapolis can fetch $50 in Fargo.

Luger said the gangs are rivals of two other violent Minneapolis gangs, the 19-Dipset and Stick Up Boys, that were targeted in a bust last year that lead to indictment of more than a dozen gang members. He said the Taliban and YNT also carry guns to intimidate rivals and retaliate violently to assaults on their operation.

“Today we see the results of a long-term investigation into a violent street gang that has plagued the streets of Minneapolis for too long,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said in a release. “As a result of our collaborative partnerships … several members of that gang are facing federal indictments for their long history of criminal activity. Today we say thank you to all of our partners for helping to make Minneapolis a safer city.”

Mitchell said he wasn’t aware of any Taliban or YNT operations in Fargo beyond drug trafficking.

“We are aware of the gangs that were involved in the indictment, but we don’t have any reason to believe they were engaging in any of the violent crimes or turf wars here that they were in Minneapolis,” he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Steinkamp will prosecute the case. Facing charges are Louis Lee “G.I.” Frasier Banks, 25; Carnel Lavel “Boo Man” Harrison, 26; DeJuan Pierre Darkyse “DJ” Washington, 23; Terrell Vonshay “Get Right” Roberson, 18; Laquedrick Lemel “Quady” As-Sidiq, 25; Donte Tramayne “Five” Smith, 25; and Cortez Davon “Tez” Blakemore, 24.

 

More revealing Clinton video…imagine, someone lived to accuse the Clinton machine of screwing them, and not in a good way.

H/T Zip

 

Once again, lawmakers prove how ignorant they are.

So, if these laws pass, citizens have a legal obligation to watch dogs chase, torture, and kill deer without legally being able to intervene?  I’d like to see a law that mandates killing of dogs chasing game or feral cats wandering the great outdoors.  Sorry … dogs kill a lot of critters, cats kill a lot of birds and if their owners can’t keep track of their pets, too damn bad.

Minnesota outdoor bills include one preventing people from shooting dogs chasing deer

By Doug Smith, Minneapolis Star Tribune Today at 9:59 a.m.

Action is heating up at the Legislature, where several outdoors-related bills have been introduced. Some have little chance of passing, but others likely will become law.

Among the proposals are ones that would:

  • Prevent citizens who see a dog wounding, killing or pursuing big game to kill the dog; currently citizens can do so between Jan. 1 and July 14. Under the change, only a peace officer or conservation officer could kill a dog seen chasing big game. Those officers wouldn’t be liable for damages.
  • Allow residents 84 or older to take a deer of either sex without a special antlerless permit.
  • Allow a resident of a Minnesota veterans home to take an antlerless deer without a special permit. It would not allow another member of the party to take an antlerless deer.
  • Allow a person age 60 or older to use a muzzleloader with a scope to take deer during the muzzleloader season.
  • Allow residents age 70 and older to fish without a license; currently residents 90 and older don’t need a license.
  • Require identification on conservation officer vehicles. The bill also apparently would prohibit unmarked State Patrol vehicles used primarily to enforce highway traffic rules.

Portable deer stands

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association corporate board recently approved a resolution seeking to allow portable stands to be left on state Wildlife Management Areas north of Hwy. 2 during the firearms deer season. The proposal would allow hunters to erect the stands one to three days before the opening of the season. They would have to be tagged with the owner’s name and ID and would have to be removed within 24 hours after the close of the season.

The liar in chief and his lackeys lose the opportunity to persecute another innocent man.

DOJ will not prosecute former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson

Image result for darren wilson injury pics

Associated Press

In the criminal investigation, federal officials concluded Wilson’s actions “do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal rights statute.”

Specifically, the DOJ said there was “no evidence” to disprove Wilson’s testimony that he feared for his safety, nor was there reliable evidence that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot.

The report said: “Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson.‎ As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible or otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time.”

The decision in the Aug. 9 shooting had been expected, in part because of the high legal standard needed for a federal civil rights prosecution. Wilson, who has said Brown struck him in the face and reached for his gun during a tussle, also had been cleared by a Missouri grand jury in November and later resigned from the department.

But the DOJ, in its evaluation of the police department itself, said blacks in Ferguson are disproportionately subject to excessive police force, baseless traffic stops and citations for infractions as petty as walking down the middle of the street.

Attention now turns to Ferguson as the city confronts how to fix racial biases that the federal government says are deeply rooted in the police department, court and jail.

Similar federal investigations of troubled police departments have led to the appointment of independent monitors and mandated overhauls in the most fundamental of police practices. The Justice Department maintains the right to sue a police department if officials balk at making changes, though many investigations resolve the issue with both sides negotiating a blueprint for change known as a consent decree.

“It’s quite evident that change is coming down the pike. This is encouraging,” said John Gaskin III, a St. Louis community activist. “It’s so unfortunate that Michael Brown had to be killed. But in spite of that, I feel justice is coming.”

Others said the federal government’s findings confirmed what they had long known and should lead to change in the police department leadership.

Brown’s killing set off weeks of protests and initiated a national dialogue about police use of force and their relations with minority communities. A separate report being issued soon is expected to clear the officer, Darren Wilson, of federal civil rights charges. A state grand jury already declined to indict Wilson, who has since resigned.

The findings of the investigation, which began weeks after Brown’s killing last August, were released as Attorney General Eric Holder prepares to leave his job following a six-year tenure that focused largely on civil rights. The report is based on interviews with police leaders and residents, a review of more than 35,000 pages of police records and analysis of data on stops, searches and arrests.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

So, you cannot identify criminals by their descriptions and you cannot call terrorists, terrorists, right? Good thing they have taxpayer dollars to rely on, isn’t it? The first amendment is a thing of the past, isn’t it?

You can’t make fun of terrorists at the U. of Minnesota

Allison Maass

Minnesota Campus Correspondent@allisonmaass
  • The Minnesota Republic published a back cover mocking terrorists in 2011.
  • The University of Minnesota’s funding committee said that the cover demonstrated “an overt lack of sensitivity to the portrayal of members of the Arab world.”
  • Such material could, according to the committee, “compromise the cultural harmony of the campus.”

No student or student group at a public university should have to fight for their First Amendment rights. But as I’m preparing for graduation in a few short months, that’s exactly what I find myself doing—fighting for the rights of my student publication.

At the Minnesota Republic, we pride ourselves in standing up for freedom of speech on campus because we might not exist without it.

“In the future, close attention may be paid to the content published by Students for a Conservative Voice to ensure that any material that is produced with student fee funds does not compromise the cultural harmony of the campus.”   Tweet This

 

Our publication, derived from the University of Minnesota’s Students for a Conservative Voice (SCV), allows students on campus to share their viewpoints no matter what—even if they are considered offensive.

And no other publication on campus can say that.

When Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Young Brown apologized to students for a student group throwing a fiesta on the grounds that it might offend the Chicano and Latino students, we printed Goldy Gopher with a sombrero on the front cover. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, we put a drawing of Muhammad on the cover, asking for speech over terror.

We do these things to show support for students’ right to say what they want on campus.

But the Student Service Fees Committee (SSFC) is now putting our rights in danger.

Every year student groups apply for funding from this committee, which is responsible for allocating millions of dollars. And while it’s a fight every year to secure the funding needed to print the Minnesota Republic, this year we were faced with a new challenge—the right to publish what we want.

At SCV’s budget presentation to the committee, we were asked about a back cover from an issue published in 2011 that pictured a man with a gun burning an issue of the Minnesota Republic with the words, “Terrorists hate the Minnesota Republic.”

Other than the protection afforded by the First Amendment to print such things, the SSFC even has its own rule that protects students’ rights to print content without hurting their request for funding.

And if the fees committee was following its own rules, a four-year-old newspaper cover would not have been questioned.

“While reviewing one of the sample publications, committee members came across material that demonstrated an overt lack of sensitivity to the portrayal of members of the Arab world,” SSFC’s funding recommendation to the Minnesota Republic said. “When pressed for information on how this piece made it into print, representatives informed the committee that, based on the date of this particular publication, the members responsible for that work are no longer in the organization and that this particular piece is not representative of the work produced by the organization today.”

“After assessing this information, the Student Service Fee Committee would like to emphasize for the group the significance of culturally sensitive discourse on a campus like the University of Minnesota, which prides itself on being home to a wide range of values and beliefs held by members that originate from countless cultures across the globe,” the recommendation continued. “In the future, close attention may be paid to the content published by Students for a Conservative Voice to ensure that any material that is produced with student fee funds does not compromise the cultural harmony of the campus and to ensure that the material that is produced is not at odds with the criteria in place for receiving this funding.”

I am shocked that not one person in the room during these deliberations questioned the committee’s flagrant disregard for our right to free speech as it was questioning whether or not our publication disrupts the “cultural harmony” on U of M’s campus.

It’s clear that their statement is meant to scare students on campus from publishing or saying anything that the committee might not like.

Students should be encouraged to share their views at a public university, not threatened when they do so.

Sadly, this is not the first time that the Minnesota Republic has had to deal with censorship issues at the U of M. Earlier this year, a stack of our publication was found in the garbage next to our newsstand. Our newsstands have also been vandalized and signs promoting the Minnesota Republichave been ripped up and thrown on the ground.

The Minnesota Republic has dealt with all of this, while the U of M has stood by and allowed it to happen. Whether it is offensive speech or not, all speech on a public university campus should be protected.

Students on campus should not have to feel as though the university is spying on them, waiting for a chance to strip them of their First Amendment rights. Instead, students—especially on a public campus—should be undeterred in their discourse and dialogue on any issue.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AllisonMaass