Category Archives: Uncategorized
Our speaker this month was Lt. Nick Torborg, who leads the Sex Crimes Unit for the MPD. Lt. Torborg has been with the MPD 23 years. He actually got his college degree in Biology; a ride-along with a friend revealed that policing is a way of helping people. After several years other units, he got moved to his current job.
This unit includes 7 investigators, who hold the rank of Sergeant, and also has three subunits: Predatory Offender Registration Unit, Sex Trafficking Unit, and Missing Juvenile Unit, all these are also led by sergeants.
The Sex Trafficking Unit is led by Sgt. Grant Snyder, who spoke to 2PAC in April, 2016. [Notes on Snyder’s presentation are in our Courtwatch Archives. Enter “Grant Snyder” in the search box on the right side of the screen — eq] Sgt. Snyder is a locally and nationally respected expert in this field.
The third unit in the SCU is the Missing Juvenile Unit, which may seem like a strange fit, but it was discovered that too many juveniles who have left home are being sexually exploited, so this is the unit very likely to find them. The unit already is a direct connect between a juvenile and the social services she or he needs.
QUESTION about child porn. They’re getting cases all the time. The FBI is continuously monitoring media for porn videos and images; it tracks the source of the porn. If it’s in Mpls this dept. will be notified for closer investigation.
Luring: the issue is tied to entice a child to “come for a ride”. By law, unless they solicit a minor of a crime it is not a law, and the police can only ask kids for what they understand.
Richard Breen had a pretrial hearing on 9/14 for his loitering charge.
Cody Corbin is in custody on $20K bail for a felony violation of no-contact order and has
an October 5 hearing.
Jason Enrico was sentenced to 13 months on July 14 th for felony check forgery. His
sentence was stayed for 3 years (that is a stay of execution with conditions) and he
immediately furloughed to treatment.
Hussein Farah has an omnibus hearing on 9-15 and is in custody on $10,000 bail for
felony charges of 5 th degree drug possession and 5 th degree criminal sexual conduct.
Kevin Foster was convicted of felony 1st degree damage to property on June 5 th and
received a stay of imposition. He will be on supervised probation until 6.5.20.
Johnny Hall has two outstanding warrants from February for 5 th degree controlled
Steven Haney has a sentencing on one 1 st degree controlled substance case and a jury
trial scheduled on another 1 st degree controlled substance case; both on 11/6.
Daniel Heacock has warrants on two misdemeanor thefts and has a review of
competency on 11-7- 17 on his felony check forgery.
Paula Heille has a jury trial on 10/9 for a felony 5 th degree controlled substance charge.
Bryan Holmes had a HOMES Court hearing on Sept 12 for loitering with open bottle
charges and a pre-trial on 10-11 for two similar charges out of the 1 st Precinct.
Mahad Ismail was convicted on 7/19 for giving false information to an officer; warrant
issued on 8/31 for failure to appear at the ACF.
Curtis Laroque's GM theft sentence from 11/4/16 was amended on 6/14/17 after a
probation violation hearing to 365 days at the workhouse, 305 days stayed for 2 years.
Kenneth Nelson has a jury trial scheduled on 10/9 for a controlled substance case and
two other controlled substances are continued for appearances on the same date (two
Minneapolis cases and one Edina).
Dae Nisell was convicted on 6/23 for violation of a restraining order and has an 18
month stayed sentence with 3 years of probation.
Joshua Poplawski is in custody on a probation violation for 5 th degree controlled
substance conviction. He is held without bail with a hearing scheduled for 9/14.
Robert Schroeder has a bench warrant for failure to appear on a public urination charge.
Michael Zaccardi was three misdemeanor charges; two tampering with motor vehicle
and one theft. He also has a felony 1 st degree damage to property.
Our presenter on October 9 will be a representative from Restorative Justice. We had a presentation from them about 3 years ago so this will be an update for some of us and all new info from others. In November we’ll hear about the MPD Implicit Bias training program for police officers and others.
Our speaker, Kristen Houlton Sukura is the Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Center, in Minneapolis. SVC supports people living in Hennepin, Carver and Scott Counties, who have been affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives, from their personal past to the present. They do not turn away people outside these counties, but will find an advocacy center closer to where people live, because those offices are likely to know more about local support services for victims of assault. Please know that SVC is eager to get its name out and its story told. Everyone knows that if your house is on fire, you call 911 for help. Not enough people know there is a number they can call if they or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault. (SVC 24-hour support line: 612.871.5111 or 952.448.5425)
To begin, there is a good overview of services the SVC provides on its website: https://www.sexualviolencecenter.org/about-us/ The following page defines common terms used in this discussion: https://www.rainn.org/types-sexual-violence
To set a few parameters, it is true that most adult victims identify as female and most assaults are perpetuated by people who identify as male but that is not always the case at all. The SVC is against all forms of assault; it doesn’t matter who the aggressor is. It is also true that 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are not reported to law enforcement. The following graphic shows the imbalance: http://220.127.116.11/~nyscasa1/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/stats-triangle1.png
SVC services are based on one belief: if a crime comes into your life, you have a right to be believed, to have someone stand with you. People who can’t find the support they need to deal with the trauma often struggle to heal, feeling “People don’t believe me”. SVC advocates work hard to overcome this barrier to healing. They want to work with more law enforcement and other agencies so that more people feel comfortable accessing the support and social services they need. Advocates also want other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, to learn to refer victims to SVC advocates.
Every victim of sexual assault in MN has a right to go to a hospital and receive free medical care. SVC works with 11 hospitals, including 7 in Hennepin County, to make sure people get the care they need. SVC only does not work with University Hospitals because the U has the Aurora Center, another advocacy center, on campus.
Data from Hennepin County indicates that 50% of people who go to the hospital after sexual assault file a police report at that time. Others may decide to do it later. Nationwide, of 100 rapes 25% get reported to the police. This is a crime that is still in the shadows because of under-reporting due to cultural and social norms. Reporting is something SVC wants more victims/survivors to choose. Even though some people may never want to report, SVC wants the process to be as safe and supportive as possible. SVC advocates work hard with their partners in law enforcement to help them work with and to support victims of criminal sexual conduct.
Evidence samples taken at the hospital exam are labeled “Do not Test” until the victim files a police report. Different locations allow different amounts of time, but typically evidence will be held by the hospital while a victim decides whether to report for a minimum of 30 days. At that point the victim will get a call asking if they want the tests held longer. Anniversary dates seem to trigger decision making. There is a statute of limitations which depends on the level of the offense, so that is also a varying window. Tests are done by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, not by the local police lab. Once a police report is made, the evidence goes to the BCA for testing. The BCA produces a report that goes back to the police department that is handling the victim’s case, and investigators in that department will determine if the case should be referred to the County Attorney for charging. In many cases, there just may not be enough evidence to present to a jury. Often a message comes back “We believe that this thing happened to you. We believe you. But with the evidence we can find, we’re not confident of convincing a jury. ”Another impacting fact is there often is no evidence of physical forcing because there has been no physical force. 85% of the victims know their aggressor and the aggressors take advantage of that. The incident may have involved drugs; 60% of the victims in Hennepin County who accessed a forensic exam after the assault were inebriated at the time of the assault. A lawyer hopes for credible witness testimony, but with a high degree of inebriation, memory may not be perfect.City Attorney Sarah Becker commented that 50% of the cases are charged for “less than” the initial complaint suggests the charge should be. She pointed out that delayed reporting is a factor because bruising or tearing have healed.SVC advocates see their function as offering peer counseling, not therapy. SVC advocates work to support many victims who struggle to believe it was not their fault they were targeted.
Advocates are largely protected from subpoena and unlikely to to called to testify in court. This is particularly important when someone is afraid to report assault because they are undocumented, because they were working as a sex worker at the time of the assault, because they are under age, because they were drunk, the SVC advocate is a safe person to talk to. They won’t have to share their story. By statute SVC staff are called “counselors”, but use the term “Advocate” because they do more than counseling.
SVC staff work in several ways including over the phone. They can work in person providing 10 sessions free of charge. They provide services not available from therapists and counselors such as help obtaining restraining orders, finding funding for needed medical services, support with navigating the system. Advocates work creatively to meet the needs of victims who come to them, trying different approaches. They’ve discovered that having police interview a victim at the SVC office is more comfortable for some victims than going to a police unit would be. Advocates will do anything they can that helps people feel supported. One service that has worked well is for an advocate to offer phone counseling anonymously, asking victims to please not tell their name, the assailant’s name, and so on. Just getting people to talk is the best way to build the kind of trust that is necessary to help people move on to the next step, whatever that may be. If a caller says, “I’m not going to report this.” the counselor can say to them, “I believe you. I’m not going to force you …. Let’s talk this through. I want to talk to you and tell you what your options are and how to be safe.” Ms Sukura is comfortable saying “Our model works. People are terrified because they don’t know what to do, and that’s because no one ever talks about it.”SVC offers its services in several unusual places, including prisons and half-way houses, in schools with students age 12-17 — an age when transportation and after school responsibilities make it tough for high school students to get to the center. Moreover, young people people are very nervous about the effect this is going to have on their parents. Beyond being hurt themselves, they don’t want to hurt their parents. This is another high value service SVC provides : working with friends and family members. An assault is not just on one person but on everyone who cares about that person. They have had calls where someone may say, “This isn’t about me. It’s my niece. She told me and I don’t know what do do about this.”At the other end of life, some people do not talk until years later. SVC gets calls from nursing homes. Sometimes it is about something that happened there, but sometimes it’s about something that happened 50 or 60 years earlier. One woman commented that she could see how this affected her through her whole life, but there was no one to talk to.
SVC organizes support groups because in groups you see that others are as affected as you are. One pair that stands out in her memory was unlikely: a 16 year old and a 60 year old man. What they had in common was the violence of the assault, each one did understand that issue better than anyone else in the room.That brings up a very important concept: if someone discloses to you, they trust you. It’s a sacred trust.QUESTION: Reports suggest that 15% of the victims are male. Is that average? ANSWER:. SVC may be reporting a higher percentage of male victims because they work in the prisons. Male victims tend to not want to call us. It’s very hard to get men to talk in front of other men. If you look on the SVC website, https://www.sexualviolencecenter.org/ you’ll see that we have male- identified advocates, trans-gender advocates, language and culturally specific support services and advocates. Our job is to get victims to the support they need, even if it isn’t directly from SVC. SVC also works with Isuroon, a Somali women’s empowerment organization to better support refugees; they have learned that 25% of refugees report having suffered sexual violence. Refugees are survivors of many things; we want them to know we offer support here.
Second Precinct officers made several outstanding arrests including a 2nd degree assault on pizza delivery person who parked in someone else’s spot. The AP, who pulled a knife on the delivery person, was located and arrested. A 1st degree domestic assault resulted in arrest of the ex-boyfriend who hit his former girlfriend in the head with a bat and cut her with a knife. A Burglary of Dwelling victim came home and found 2 suspects in his apartment. They left when he confronted them but he called 911 when he spotted them returning to the apartment complex. Three were arrested. Officers stopped a speeding vehicle at Central and University on 8-11. The driver appeared impaired and was asked to step out of the vehicle, and when she did, suspected narcotics fell from her lap; two suspects were arrested.
Sgt. Carter also gave a report on the Second Precinct Community Response Team performance to date: 34 guns seized, almost $160K drug money seized; 10 vehicles seized; 41 felony complaints were charged; 79 felony/gross misdemeanor charged; 30 community complaint address related search warrants acted on; the total number of search warrants or court orders signed or served is 119
Counterfeit money is being passed again in NE Minneapolis.
Sgt. Carter is always interested in reports on suspicious activity, especially drug activity, and knows people do know when something seems wrong. Typically this is when you see many people entering an address or meeting with a car in the street and leaving quickly over the course of a day. He asks Second Precinct residents that, if they see this kind of activity, do NOT call 911. Instead, call the Precinct and leave a message for Sgt Carter 612.673.5702.
No updates on Kevin Foster, Johnny Hall, Dae Nisell, Ashley Sage (doing well on her drug court plan!)
Meeting was adjourned (about) 7:20
The meeting was called to order at 6:07 by Chair Larry Ranallo with 20 attenders.
Our speakers this month were Velma Korbel, Director of the Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, and Kristin Johnson, Investigator in the Complaint Investigations Division of the Dept. As the City is expanding services to residents, it is also expanding the means residents have to request these services. Our well known and heavily used 311 contact is now a means of reporting hate crimes and discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other, and these crimes may be reported by targets or by witnesses.
Ms. Korbel related that the “Hate Crimes Hotline” is an extension of the 311 line service, which was launched with limited services and hours in 2003, but has been expanding ever since. People in Minneapolis dial 311 for direct access while people who are outside the city proper or who can’t use that line for any reason (TTY callers, for example) can call 612.673.3000.
While there has always been some level of hate crime in Minneapolis, authorities have noticed an increase starting in Sept and October of 2016 when the political race fueled a lot of talk about building a wall, deporting people, and other divisive issues. There was a further rise when U.S. borders were closed to some people. As controversy became more heated, some cities took a stand declaring themselves “inclusive” and separating law enforcement activity from immigration and customs enforcement activity through use of non-cooperation clauses. Cities enforcing non-cooperation between their police forces and immigration officials include Seattle, NYC, Albuquerque, and more. Minneapolis is part of this movement.
The Civil Rights Department of Minneapolis, the St. Paul Department of Human Rights, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and the FBI joined forces to coordinate the programs and outreach services offered by each agency. There was a need for one number to call where reports would be screened to determine what department or service would best meet the immediate concern; 311 was an obvious resource. 311 is also a way for service providers to gather information about hate and bias crimes. Resources were added to the Department’s budget to coordinate the City’s response and handle information regarding hate crimes and discrimination, and to work with community and enforcement partners. Kristin leads this work in the Department.
People needed to know this expanded service exists so one of the first things they developed was a simple poster, Go to http://www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/index.htm and scroll past “HATE CRIMES HOTLINE” to see a printable PDF. Updates to the page making the information more accessible are pending.
QUESTION: Does hate speech = a hate crime?
Korbel: No, speech is protected by the First Amendment. There is hateful speech, but no agreed-upon definition. There is confusion because last year’s political speech often mentioned “hate speech” which put that in people’s minds but the fact is, there is no definition of hate speech. We welcome discourse of any kind, but while we may not like it, we can’t stop it.
QUESTION: 311 operators, including the supervisor seem confused about hate crimes.
Korbel: If you called the 311 operators, not to report a crime but to ask about hate speech, you need to remember 311 operators are NOT there to explain things, define terms, or to speak directly about a caller’s concerns. Their job is limited to forwarding calls to the appropriate service center where staff trained in the caller’s issues are waiting to listen to and to evaluate a callers concerns and to begin working with and for the caller. 311’s job begins with receiving your call and ends when the operator has forwarded your call.
QUESTION: There is a question of context. Speech at work can create an atmosphere that interrupts your ability to work.
Korbel: Most work places have policies in place that outline what is and isn’t permitted in the work place and how violations will be handled. Managers should be trained to handle these issues. Issues and events in one place may be handled very differently from a similar situation at a different organization.
Board member Dorothy Bode reminded people that the Minneapolis Public Schools is a separate jurisdiction and has its own hotline.
QUESTION [ASKED AFTER THE MEETING: SO IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING A SATISFACTORY RESPONSE FROM e.g. YOUR OFFICE HR OR THE SCHOOL’S HOTLINE RESPONSE, ARE YOU BARRED FROM USING THE CITY SERVICE OR ENCOURAGED TO USE IT?]
Johnson: You may always contact the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), St. Paul Department of Human Rights, or Minnesota Department of Human Rights to report unlawful discrimination, including a hostile working environment. A hostile work environment may be created through the harassment of an individual based on a protected characteristic (as defined in the Mpls Civil Rights Ordinance, Section 139.40(b)) that negatively affects that employee’s performance or job opportunities and is known by and not prevented or corrected by the employer. This is an example of an instance where one individual’s expressions of prejudice toward another individual may be unlawful, when the same exchanges on a public street may constitute protected speech.
Johnson: Minneapolis ordinance bans discrimination based on “race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance or familial status.” Property damage, assault, and stalking are crimes per state law, no matter what the motive, but if bias (discrimination) is determined to have been a motive of a crime, that judgment will give the complaint an enhanced status. For example, if a person commits an assault, that is a crime. If, during the assault they call someone a name (based on race, gender, etc.) the sentence for that crime may be increased on that basis.
Data collection so far suggests that many episodes are based on race issues. Data also suggest that many incidents are under-reported. Data collection does show context which may figure in later outreach programs. With regard to most speech questions received to date, one example is that you may still paint a Swastika on your own property, but you may still not paint one on someone else’s property without their permission or on public property.
Johnson: some complaints may be sent to the MN Dept of Human Rights or other agencies, depending on the type of crime and the location. The Mpls Civil Rights personnel will always look at it first.
The Dept of Civil Rights is developing relationships with other resources to better respond to complaints. It’s a work in progress. Please call Kristin at 612 673 2087 with any questions about the hotline or the implicated laws.
WHAT OFFICES CAN HELP AN INDIVIDUAL FILE A COMPLAINT?
In Minneapolis: Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, (612) 673-3012.
In St. Paul, St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity, (651) 266-8966.
Elsewhere in the state, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, (651) 296-5663.
STATE OF THE PRECINCT: Inspector Loining reported that violent crime in the 2nd Precinct is down by 7.6% led by Robbery, down 32.47% from 77 incidents in 2016 to 52 in YTD in 2017. Criminal Sexual Conduct is up from 29 to 31 incidents in the same period and Aggravated Assault if up from 64 to 75 incidents in the same period.
Burglary is down by 11.29% but auto theft is up by over 39%.
Current “Hot Crime Issues” in the 2nd Precinct are 1) reducing violent crimes by monitoring reports to determine focus zones for increased patrol, 2) reducing theft from motor vehicles by reminding folks to remove valuables from their cars or at least keep them locked in the trunk, 3) auto theft, alerting owners to the danger of warming up vehicles in the winter and to reduce theft of mopeds by securing light two wheelers with locks and chains, and 4) to reduce burglary of garages by reminding folks to lock their garages. Officers will leave a hang tag on obviously unsecured garages which offers help and outlines the reasons to lock up.
Successful policing reports including two July 6 search warrants in NE Mpls,which uncovered one marijuana growing operation (one party booked) and a recovery of a shotgun and almost $10,000. The Property Crimes Unit has been assigned 189 cases for investigation so far in 2017. Of these, 144 have led to a charge.
The Second Precinct has gained 5 new officers. All will be on foot beats for the next six months (standard procedure): 2 on East Hennepin and 3 in the Stadium Village area which includes the light rail station. Other personnel changes: Sgt. Beth Mota has transferred to the Juvenile Unit. Sgt. Chris Patino has joined 2nd Pct Property Crimes, and Sgt. Darin Waletzki is now in the 2nd Pct
COURTWATCH: Sarah Becker, City Atty. and Judi Cole Hennepin Cty Atty.: Cody Corbin failed to appear on 7/5 and a bench warrant was issued; he is free on $5000 bond and his next court date is 8/2. Jason Enrico had an omnibus hearing scheduled on 7/14. Kevin Foster was convicted on June 5; a stay of imposition was issued and he is on probation until 6.5.2020. Steven Haney is facing 2 narcotics cases; he posted a $100,000 bond on March 1; his house will be in foreclosure at the end of July. Daniel Heacock is now out of custody and waiting for a competency hearing. Paula Heille failed to appear on 5/10 and a bench warrant was issued. Mahad Ismail is now in prison and has a pretrial on July 19. Kenneth Nelson has a 9/19/17 hearing coming up, and one complaint against him has a jury trial date. Sharkina Nickens was convicted of burglaries and is now in prison. Her other complaints have not been resolved. Dae Nisell was convicted on 6/23 for violation of restraining order and was sentenced to the MN Correctional Facility in St. Cloud (18 months stayed 3 years); he is on probation to 6.23.20. Ryan Pilarski has completed probation on June 13. Joshua Poplawski has a pretrial on trespass in the 3rd Pct scheduled for 7/12; probation violation hearing on 7.24. Ashley Sage seems to be meeting her agreement. Robert Schroeder has a July 12 pretrial. Michael Zaccardi has a felony level damage complaint with a 7.21 omnibus hearing.
No updates:Johnny Hall has not yet responded to his February bench warrant. Curtis Laroq remains on probation to 11/4/18 and there have been no updates.
Removed: Canty, Nickens, Moen, Pilarski
Reminders: do you want attorneys to attend your National Night Out? Contact Jean M Heyer (Jean.Heyer@hennepin.us), or go to heep://www.hennepinattorney.org/prevention/community-partnerships/national-night-out
It’s a chance to ask questions you may have been curious about and didn’t know who/how/where to find the answers — plus they’re nice people.
With no New or Old Business, the meeting was adjourned.
Leading off a series of reports on support services available in Minneapolis to victims of assault, Bronte Stewart-New, Legal Advocacy Coordinator described the menu of services available from the Aurora Center, University of Minnesota.
The Aurora Center currently has 67 full time staff. Many volunteer first and then are offered jobs at the center. Ms Stewart-New volunteered 4 years and was hired early in 2017.
The first step toward reducing the incidence of inappropriate sexual events on campus is to define terms. The U of MN distinguishes harassment, assault, relationship violence, harm, stalking, and consent.
Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances that are presented as a condition of employment or academic advancement, or which have the effect of interfering with an individual’s performance, or which create a hostile or offensive environment in any University event.
Sexual assault is actual, attempted or threatened sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. This includes but is not limited to intercourse. Rape is sexual intercourse without freely given consent.
Relationship violence is causing physical harm, or threats of physical harm that rise in a personal, intimate relationship.
Harm means engaging in conduct that endangers OR threatens to endanger the physical and/or mental health, safety or welfare of another person and includes (but is not limited to) threatening, stalking, harassing, intimidating, or assaulting.
Stalking is behavior directed at a specific person that is unwanted and which would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. At the U of MN, the focus is on the impact on the targeted person, not the intent of the doer.
Per U of MN official policy, consent is informed, freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to engage in sexual activity, expressed in clear and unambiguous words or actions.
1) 24% reported being sexually assaulted. The breakdown was 11% of all males and 32 % of all females
2) 19% reported domestic violence. The breakdown was 12% of all males and 23% of all females.
1) 6% of males reported post enrollment assault
2) 23% of females reported assault since enrollment
3) 34% of GLBT or gender-non-conforming students reported assault since enrollment.
These reports parallel similar reports from other universities in percentage of reported assault. In every category, the numbers were higher for students of color than for others. BRONTE: THIS DOES NOT JIBE WITH THE STATEMENT TWO SENTENCES DOWN: “12.8% white”
Additionally, the number of disabled students reporting assault were almost twice the number of students who do not consider themselves disabled, 21% v. 11%
People affiliated with the University have two first level options, but services may flow from one to the other.
First: Seek Support, don’t report. Support is available through the Aurora Center (612.626.9111), through Boynton Mental Health Services (which also has a 24-hour crisis line at 612.301.4673) or from student Counseling Services.
Second: Report. The Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action office is the strongest place to find help for violation of Title IX clauses, Another place is to get help from the police (Emergency is a 911 call and non-emergency is 612.624.COPS 624.2677)