August 2-PAC – the Sexual Violence Center

The meeting was called to order at 6:12 by Chair Larry Ranallo, 12 people attending.

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:   The following page defines common terms used in this discussion:

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:
People have many reasons for not reporting.  Since most of the victims know their perpetrators, it’s evident they are in some kind of a relationship with them, including marriage, family or another close relationship.  The perpetrator is a person they trust, and may love.  They do not want that person to go to jail, but they do want the assaults to stop.   In other cases, the perpetrator has some sort of hold over them and it may actually be unsafe for a victim to report the assaults to authorities.   Another fact emphasized by the SVC is that more people are harmed by an assault than the victim. An assault has a lasting impart on the friends and family who love the victim, something that is not acknowledged enough by the community.  These impacts all need to be addressed, but victims, their family and their friends rarely know how to talk about it, or don’t have anyone they can talk with about the situation.  As a consequence, they are likely to bury their feelings.  This does not make the impact go away.

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.

What happens at the hospital?    A specially trained nurse will be paged at the same time the SVC advocate is paged. The victim will be examined for evidence that could be used in a trial.  The victim has the right to receive some medical care for free.  They will be offered treatment to ward off STIs, assessed for HIV exposure, and offered Plan B contraceptives   We urge people to go to the hospital as soon as possible.  It is possible to collect evidence even 5 days after the assault, but 72 hours is how much time you have for an assessment of risk of HIV exposure.  After that time, the victims may not be able to get the evidence collected.  Victims should know that even if they do not have health insurance, SVC advocates and hospital staff are very experienced at figuring out how to get the patient the service they need.  SVC advocates  do not tell people what to do, but do always suggest going to the hospital after assault.  Victims are not always sure they are ready to talk to someone but the SVC advocates will stay with them as long as they are wanted.

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,  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.
Ms. Sukura left copies of a Sexual  Violence Center  poster.  If you would like a copy, please contact Emilie (

STATE OF THE PRECINCT: Sgt. Jeff Carter presented the current incident summary of crime in the Second Precinct, all numbers are year to date:  Sexual Assault is down by over 17%, reporting 37 in 2017 in comparison with 45 last year.  Robbery is down over 26% with 65 incidents in 2017 vs 88 last year; aggravated assault is up slightly with 85 incidents this year but 84 last year; aggravated domestic assaults are up 5.7% with 37 this year and 35 last year.

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.

COURTWATCH.  Sarah Becker reported our watch list:  Cody Corbin received a stay of imposition; Jason Enrico was convicted of forgery and sentenced to 13 months, stayed 3 years, so on probation until 7/20/20; Steven Haney trial was postponed until after our meeting; Daniel Heacock  has arraignment scheduled for 8/23/17; Paula Heille has a jury trial on 10/9/17; Mahad Ismail  was convicted and sentenced to 365 days in workhouse, 335 stayed for 2 years and is on probation until 7/29/19; Curtis Laroque was convicted in November of 2016 but that sentence was amended on 6/14/17 to 365 days at the workhouse, 305 days stayed for 2 years, on probation to 11/4/18; Kenneth Nelson has 3 open felony cases with a jury trail 10/9 17 (Impact statements requested).  A probation violation warrant was issued for Joshua Poplawski on 7/31 and a hearing scheduled for 8/17 (Impact statements requested); a bench warrant for failure to appear was issued for Robert Schroeder on 7/12; Michael Zaccardi has a hearing on 8/22, and is potentially going to Mental Health Court.

No updates on Kevin Foster,  Johnny Hall, Dae Nisell, Ashley Sage (doing well on her drug court plan!)

IMPACT STATEMENTS REQUESTED:  Kenneth Nelson has had 32 city-wide arrests since 1995 with 12 convictions  and has a trial coming up 10-9.  He currently has 3 open felony cases.  Joshua Michael Poplawskihas 2 trespass offenses and a probation violation hearing on a burglary offense, all in the 3rd Precinct but he is now spending a lot of time around Stadium Village as well as on Franklin.   Reminder: our home page has a guideline: How to write an impact statement.  Go to  and click on the button at the top that says “Impact Statements”  — the guidelines will appear on the message area of the page.

Ms Becker nominated three for addition to our watch list:  1) Hussein Farah sexually assaulted two women the same day in one apartment building AND had PCP while operating a motor vehicle (traffic stop at 5th and University Ave SE).  He has been arrested 6 times in 3 years in the 2nd Pct for traffic, burglary, assault.   2) Richard Breen, offense was consuming in public and has had10 city-wide arrests since 2014, 4 in the 2nd Pct, for public consumption, trespass, criminal conduct.  3) Bryan Holmes has 17 arrests in the 2nd Pct since 2013, for trespass, public consumption.    Motion was made and approved to add these three to our list.

General announcement:  Susan Webb has moved to another MPD position which takes her out of the Second Precinct.  For the time being Nick Juarez is working solo.
Meeting was adjourned (about) 7:20

July PAC report

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 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.


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.



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 (, or go to heep://

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.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct PAC

August 2-PAC speakers

Every month, the MPD Second Precinct Pac (2-PAC) invites a speaker from a less known government or private service that offers protection or assistance to residents in the Second Precinct.

Our August speaker is Kristen Houlton Sukura, Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Center.  The SVC  was organized to support 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.  The organization offers “respectful, confidential services to survivors, their friends, and their families free of charge. Our services are open to people of all genders.”

You can learn more about this service at

Please join 2-PAC  at 6PM  on August 14 at 1900 Central Avenue NE in the Community Room of Monroe Village Apartments.  2-PAC is always free and there is plenty of free parking on Central and on cross streets nearby.

After our speaker’s presentation, you’ll learn about current status of crime and safety issues in the Second Precinct, and have time to share your questions and concerns with officers, representatives from the City and County Attorney’s Offices, and other professionals.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct PAC

Revised notes: June 2-PAC report

From Emilie: When I looked at my notes after the June 2-PAC presentation by Bronte Stewart-New (Aurora Center, U of MN) I realized that some of my notes did not make a logical story.  I send every speaker a copy of my draft to edit and correct before I send it out.  To my regret, Ms Stewart-New didn’t have time to proof the notes and, deadline at hand, I decided to send out what I had.  I covered some of the gaps with bracketed comments, but my comments bothered one person who took the trouble to let me know what was wrong.  I’m grateful she did so.  A second request to the Aurora Center yielded the corrections I needed.  “Thank you” to the staff there.

I’d asked for more numbers and information about that survey cited in the presentation.  Here’s a clearer  explanation of the numbers from Ms Stewart-New:

“…The survey regarding the statistics we discussed was promoted to a randomly selected group (5,900) of students. The response rate from that randomly selected pool was 34%. Incentives to complete the survey included being entered into drawings for Amazon gift cards. I have included a link to the report here: 2015 College Health Survey. The survey covered various aspects of an individual’s health and safety, not sexual violence alone.

“The 2015 Association of American Universities (AAU) Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct provided the breakdown of reported sexual violence by sexual orientation, gender identity (including trans and non-binary folks), and ethnicity. Read there executive summary here: AAU 2015 Executive Summary
“Again, sexual violence is prevelent in any community, regardless of age, gender, or race. Please reach out to Sexual Violence Center or Casa de Esperanza to gain a broader understanding of violence in our communities.”


[And my amended notes]

Leading off a series of presentations on support services available in Minneapolis to victims of assault, Bronte Stewart-New, Legal Advocacy Coordinator described the services available from the Aurora Center, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The Aurora Center works with victims/survivors and concerned persons of relationship violence, sexual assault and stalking. Aurora provides free and confidential services to students, faculty and staff at UMN and Augsburg College.

The Aurora Center currently has 7 full time staff, 5 student staff, and around 60-100 student volunteers.  Ms. Stewart-New has volunteered 4 years with The Aurora Center and was hired early in 2017.

Advocacy begins with immediate emotional support to victim/survivors.  Advocates help clients avoid re-victimization (insuring fair treatment), and to coordinate local campus and community resources and programs.  The Aurora program is free and confidential, and provides services to victims/survivors and concerned persons. Advocates do not make decisions for a client, but carefully lay out options so the client is able to mindfully make their own fully informed decisions.

Once a person decides to seek help, The Aurora Center provides a 24 hour helpline staffed by volunteers and staff.  Aurora provides crisis counseling, support groups, and a substantial menu of advocacy services, not limited to dealing with academic impact, helping with housing, assisting with medical care, supporting a victim during police and university interviews, and helping with legal matters like obtaining restraining orders.

The first step toward reducing the incidence of sexual assaults on campus is to clearly define terms and policies. The U of MN defines sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, harm, stalking, and consent.

  • Sexual 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 it creates 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.

  • 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.

  • Consent is informed, freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to engage in sexual activity, expressed in clear and unambiguous words or actions.

According to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 2015 College Student Health Survey conducted by Boynton Health Services where 34% of students contacted responded to the survey, the prevalence of sexual assault and domestic violence reported by U of MN enrolled students, not limited to assault while enrolled was:

1) 24% reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetime. 11% of males and 32 % of females

2) 19% reported domestic violence in their lifetime. 12% of males and 23% of females.

3) 11% of students self-reported that they had perpetrated sexual assault.

The survey also looked at reports of sexual assault since enrollment:

1) 6% of males reported assault during the last 12 months 
2) 23% of females reported assault during the last 12 months
3) 34% of LGBT or gender-non-conforming students reported assault during the last 12 months.

People of color and the LGBTQ community ALSO experience sexual assault and relationship violence. Specifically transgender people of color experience domestic violence and sexual assault at disproportionate rates than individuals who are not transgender.

Additionally, the number of students w/ disabilities reporting assault were almost twice the number of students who do not have disabilities, 21% v. 11%.

Finally, when the report was sorted by race/ethnicity, another picture emerged: 7% of reporters were Asian, 11.1% were Pacific Islander, 11;5% were black or African American, 12.8% white, 14.9% Hispanic, 21.7% were Native American or Alaska Native.

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.  

The Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action office is the university Title IX office where people can report sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Another reporting option is to report to the police (Emergency is a 911 call and non-emergency is 612.624.COPS 624.2677 for UMN campus). Those two reporting options are not exclusive of one another. Any victim can do one or the other, both, or none.

July 2-PAC meeting

July 2-PAC’s speaker is the director of the Minneapolis Dept of Civil Rights. Hate crimes based on racism, sexism, bigotry, or xeno-phobia can now be reported with one 311 call. If you have witnessed or been the target of a hate-based action or speech, you have a place to quickly turn for help. Ms Korbel will be at 2-PAC to tell us how this much needed service got put together, how it works, and what you an expect from this service. Bring your questions and join us on July 10. As always, we meet in the Monroe Village Apartments Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE. Call to order is shortly after 6PM

Coming soon: Our August presentation will be by staff members of the Minnesota Sexual Violence Center.

June 2-PAC: The Aurora Center

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 PM by Chair, Larry Ranallo.  19 people attended.

SPEAKER: 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.

Prevalence of  assault reported by U of MN enrolled students, not limited to assault while enrolled: in 2015 the Center conducted a Health and Safety self-reporting survey.  34% of students contacted responded to the survey.  [EQ: Because 34% responded, the percents should NOT be taken as representing the whole student body. I think it’s safe to assume that many of the students reporting are impacted in some personal way, but others might be responding only because they were asked to do so.  That is a guess on my part and Bronte did not suggest it.)

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.

3) Student perpetrators were 11% (again, this is self-reporting)

When the survey limited to reports of assault during enrollment, the picture changes slightly:

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.

Additionally, the number of disabled students reporting assault were almost twice the number of students who do not consider themselves disabled, 21% v. 11%

Finally, when the report is sorted by race/ethnicity, another picture emerges, as 7% of reporters were Asian, 11.1% were Pacific Islander, 11.5% were black or African American, 12.8% white, 14.9% Hispanic, but 21.7% were Native American or Alaska Native.

Once a person decides to seek help, Aurora provides immediate and long term assistance on many levels.  There is a 24/7/365 help line staffed by volunteers with staff backup.  Aurora provides crisis counseling, support groups, and a substantial menu of advocacy services, not limited to dealing with academic impact, helping with housing, assisting with medical care, supporting a victim during police interviews, and helping with legal matters like obtaining restraining orders and other legal affairs.

Advocacy is the broadest service.  Advocacy begins with immediate emotional support to sexual assault victims, which is continued as long as necessary.  An advocate’s goals are to help the client avoid re-victimization (insuring fair treatment), to coordinate local  campus and community resources and programs.  The Aurora program is completely free to the client and completely confidential.  Advocates do not make decisions for a client, but carefully lay out options so the client is able to mindfully make his or her own fully informed decisions.

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)


Sgt. Beth Mota gave the State of the Precinct update.  The open house was well attended.  They served some 600 hot dogs and burgers so that’s the minimum attendance.   The bike give away got a lot of attention this year.  The sky was threatening all day, but right in time for the open house, the clouds parted and the sun was shining.  We’ll take that for an omen.

Sgt. Mota presented the 2nd Precinct Chaplain, Pastor Brett Miller,  and his congregation at Southeast Christian, a special Thank-You for their extra help to the Precinct during the University annual Spring Jam.

Looking at crime in the Second Precinct:  a disagreement between two roommates ended with one shooting the other.   Burglaries are a constant, but especially persistent in NE and close to the U campus, because a lot of people still are not locking their doors or windows, and  are leaving valuables in their cars in clear view.   Robberies had been down until 3 or 4 juvenile males and 1 juvenile female decided to try it using a baseball bat as a weapon.  Prompt reporting and good descriptions led  two of the youth being apprehended. This incident happened on the border between SE Como and Marcy-Holmes (MPD case report is 17-216009)

COURTWATCH UPDATES: Sarah Becker and Deb Russell reporting :
Kristopher Canty had a 6/8 hearing and was released for inpatient treatment; Jason Enrivo has 2 bench warrants issued in June; Kevin Foster was convicted on 6/5 after being found competent; Johnny Hall has a bench warrant issued 2/10  Steven Haney had a 6/ 12 hearing ; Daniel Heacock was found incompetent on 5/9 and is at liberty, pending 11-7 hearing ; Paula Heille has a bench warrant issued 5/10; Mahad Ismail has a pretrial on 7/19;  (3rd Pct); Jarid Jovanovich has a pretrial set for 6/20, remains in custody, and is looking at a lengthy prison time; .Kenneth Nelson has a hearing on 7/17 in Edina and 8/28 in Minneapolis (jury trial scheduled in August; Sharkina Nickens remains in custody and had a 6/19 first appearance in court; Dae Nisell has been found competent but  may be sentenced to time served; Ryan Pilarski had a 6/13 hearing; Joshua Poplawski was in custody but is out now (6/15 he was found competent for trial  on the 5th degree drug possession charge); Ashley Sage had a 6/14 hearing, but seems to be coming around with stricter supervision;  Michael Zaccardi continued to 7/21

no updates: Cody Corbin, Curtis Laroque , Albert Moen, Robert Schroeder

Taken off the list: Jarid Jovanovich, Jason Tucker.


REPORTS: Treasurer’s report, April minutes were approved.


NEW BUSINESS:  This was Deb Russell’s last official meeting with the Second Precinct PAC.  In July, our new rep in the County Attorney’s office will be Judi Cole.  Judi urged folks  organizing a NNO event contact the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for a drop in by an attorney.  In 2016 230 members of the Office visited over 200 block parties and gatherings.  You can request a visit at   or just go to and enter national night out in the SEARCH.

Meeting was adjourned 7:20

Reminder:  You can find notes and announcement from previous 2-PAC meetings on our homepage:


We always need ideas for 2017 programs; what city policing, livability and related services are you curious about?

June 2-PAC: Support services for assault victims

Join us on June 12 at 6PM  for the June MPD Second Precinct  PAC meeting.  We meet in the Monroe Village Apartments Community Room, 1900 Central Avenue NE.  2-Pac is free.  It’s a place where you can  report your safety concerns and learn about services available for you.  Our speaker this month is Bronte Stewart-New from the Aurora Center, U of MN.

Several years ago, 2PAC’s monthly State of the Precinct report showed a slight but persistent  rise from month to month in assaults, especially sexual assaults.  2-PAC attenders asked what was going on there?  Was this just in our area or was it all across the precinct or was it city-wide?

While no one could pinpoint a cause but many were wondering if this was actually a rise in reporting of events.  Women were finally starting to report this crime.  Officers wondered if it could have a lot to do with the truth that women are now offered support instead of blame and guilt.

The Inspector mentioned a support service for University of Minnesota and Augsburg students called the Aurora Center and commented we’d probably been reading about it since it’s an Eastside center. True: most U of MN students live in SE and near NE so in that sense it is “their” center.

This topic and the network of allied organizations have been something that needs better public understanding.  Aurora is unique in many ways because it is so clearly focused, but there are other services and official back ups in Minneapolis that, all together, offer strong support for victims.  Over the next several months, 2-PAC will be bringing in speakers to explain how these services offer support and reassurance  and how they work together.

Aurora was formed in 1986 in response to an alleged rape of a young woman by 3 U of MN basketball players.  U of MN President Keller called a group together to root out the culture that enabled  the assault.  This was the start of Aurora.  Other campuses have formed similar services; the movement received real impetus when in 2011 the US Dept of Education sent a letter to colleges and universities across the country, pointing out that permissive campus  culture was a violation of equal opportunity under Title IX.  By then, Aurora’s experience made it the national model for advocacy and culture change.

The Aurora Center’s Mission Statement is, “To serve all victims/survivors/concerned people of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College.”  You can read the full mission statement and much more  on their home page:

Aurora has expanded its original focus to identifying and changing most of the “isms” including racism, ageism, religious oppression and discrimination against people with disabilities — a heavy load.  Our speaker, Bronte Stewart-New, will share their goals, their focus and the means of achieving those goals at the June meeting of 2-PAC.

There’s a good article for background in the Minnpost story,

We hope to see you on June 12