A 16-year-old wanted in connection with a shooting that injured a Minneapolis police officer last month has been brought into custody, police said Wednesday.
Sgt. Garrett Parten, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, said the suspect was arrested Tuesday evening during a traffic stop near Dowling and Morgan avenues in north Minneapolis.
The juvenile had been charged with second-degree attempted murder earlier this month on suspicion of being involved in the Aug. 11 shooting of Officer Jacob Spies, Parten said. He appeared before a judge on Wednesday and was ordered to remain in custody.
Spies, a seven-year MPD veteran, was shot after following a vehicle that had fled an attempted traffic stop earlier in the night. He was hit in the shoulder and received treatment at a local hospital.
Four people — three adults and a juvenile — were arrested after other officers pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a parked car at 21st Avenue North and Upton Avenue North.
Two of those adults, 19-year-old Frederick Leon Davis Jr. and 20-year-old Nevaeh Page, have been charged for their alleged involvement in the shooting.
Court records show Davis faces one charge of second-degree attempted murder in Hennepin County in addition to a federal charge of unlawful possession of a machine gun. Page, meanwhile, is charged with aiding an offender.
No charges have been filed against the fourth person in the car.
City of Minneapolis would clear sidewalks for some residents through proposed pilot program
MINNEAPOLIS — The City of Minneapolis is looking at doing something many people have wanted for years: clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks.
Snow and ice during Minnesota winters are a yearly hazard for people trying to make their way on sidewalks.
“My sister, while walking her dog, actually slipped on an unclear sidewalk and broke her leg in three places,” said Minneapolis Council Member Robin Wonsley.
Wonsley was one of 12 “yes” votes in a committee to approve a sidewalk snow and ice removal pilot program for next fall.
The council is expected to officially approve the program this week.
“If we have a city that emphasizes mobility, being pedestrian-friendly, being senior-friendly and also values public safety, sidewalks is a part of all of that,” Wonsley said.
This winter, it’ll still be the responsibility of homeowners to shovel the sidewalks in front of their properties.
The specifics are still up in the air of which sidewalks will be cleared during the pilot.
Wonsley says a few dozen miles of high-usage pedestrian streets will be selected.
The pilot will also target seniors who need the help and property owners with a history of not shoveling their walks.
“I think it’s a good idea because the sidewalks just get really slippery for elderly people and things like that so it’d be good to not have to worry about the ice,” said Taylynn Torgerson, who lives in Minneapolis.
The pilot program costs about $600,000. Some of that would come out of the police budget.
The city also commissioned a study on clearing all of the sidewalks.
The report includes some downsides like the snow not getting cleared quickly enough, the environmental impacts of more equipment and road salt, and the noise of crews working through the night.
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‘Very rare’ cougar sighting in Minneapolis neighborhood
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – Home security cameras captured footage of a cougar prowling through the Lowry Hill neighborhood early Monday morning.
The big cat can be seen hopping a fence and walking across a shared driveway, before making his way into another yard around 3:30 a.m. Monday.
“All of a sudden he was like, ‘Oh my god check it out,’” said Kristi, recalling her husband’s reaction when he watched the clip. “there it was clear as day – this big cat.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says while big cat sightings in the city are extremely rare, transient cougars are known to occasionally travel through the state.
Since 2004, there has been only one other instance of a cougar captured on camera in Hennepin County. Statewide, there were six recorded cougar observations last year – which could be paw prints, scat, roadkill, or photos – with it likely that some if not all of those were the same cat.
The DNR says it has collected no evidence to suggest there is a breeding population in Minnesota, rather the cats are passing through – most likely originating in the Dakotas.
“It’s been the neighborhood buzz,” said Kristi.
Wildlife experts say if you encounter a cougar, do not shoot it as they are protected by Minnesota law. Instead, they suggest making yourself large and loud to scare the cat away.
Checkered past won’t slow 3 MPD officers’ workers comp claims
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – Three Minneapolis city council members tried and failed Monday to deny workers comp claims from police officers with a checkered past.
Their votes came about two months after the city council rejected one of the relatively routine settlements for the first time.
A history of dishonesty is the reason some council members want to dig deeper before signing off on six-figure PTSD settlements for former police officers.
Since one of their own murdered George Floyd three years ago, a FOX 9 Investigators analysis showed more than 150 Minneapolis police officers have taken workers compensation settlements for post-traumatic stress.
City council approved every suggested settlement until denying Andrew Bittel’s in October.
On Monday, four new settlements landed on the city council’s Policy and Government Oversight committee agenda.
“Some of the officers that have been considered with these claims have documented problematic histories,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Robin Wonsley.
“I think when we see that track record of dishonesty, that’s when it makes it hard to, I think, to support these,” said Ward 5 Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison.
The committee approved one settlement but was torn on how to handle those for Logan Johansson, Andrew Braun, and Peter Brazeau.
Each of them garnered negative attention before making their PTSD claims. Johansson torched files at the Third Precinct on the night it burned. Braun shot a journalist with a rubber bullet during the unrest after Floyd’s death, resulting in her losing an eye and receiving a $600,000 settlement.
And Brazeau was fired for punching a handcuffed man but was later reinstated. Ultimately, none of this history changes anything about their PTSD settlements.
“Past misconduct is not relevant to either the evaluation or the course, the legal course of a worker’s compensation claim,” said deputy city attorney Erik Nilsson.
Councilmember Wonsley said integrity matters in workers compensation calculations, so in certain cases, she wants more assurances that the system isn’t being abused.
“Until serious conversations and safeguards are implemented and how the city approves these worker comp claims, I will not and cannot support them,” she said.
The committee failed to deny those claims on a 3-3 vote.
Instead, it voted 4-2 to send the claims to the full council with no recommendation.
Past MPD settlements
Since May 2020, at least 155 officers have received worker’s compensation settlements, many of which have had questionable histories of misconduct.
Of the 155 MPD officers analyzed, at least 95% of them had some form of misconduct claim filed against them. About 12% of those officers were disciplined by MPD brass.
But in October, the Minneapolis City Council voted to reject the workers’ compensation claim made by Minneapolis police officer Andrew Bittel in a 4-1 vote — signaling it could begin scrutinizing the claims further. Sgt. Bittell was one of the officers present during the beating and arrest of Jaleel Stallings during the unrest following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Stallings eventually reached a $1.5 million settlement with the City of Minneapolis.
In October, Minneapolis officials told FOX 9 that since June 1, 2020, MPD employees had filed 864 workers’ compensation claims for work-related injuries and illnesses. The figure included multiple claims by some employees who sustained more than one work-related injury or illness.
To date, the city has paid $33,825,505.90 in claims, which includes wage replacement, medical payments, settlements, and other claim-associated expenses.
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