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More than 100 file extortion claims against Metro Gang Strike Force

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posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:29 PM

More than 100 file extortion claims against Metro Gang Strike Force

The lawsuit claimed that strike force members "engaged in a pattern and practice of using their apparent authority as police officers to extort cash and property ... particularly from those concerned about their immigration status who would naturally perceive that they had no ability to assert legal rights."

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen gave final approval to the settlement Dec. 16. She approved "incentive awards" to the "named plaintiffs serving as class representatives" of $2,500, in addition to any distributions they get from the settlement.

(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:29 PM

This case reads like something straight out a Hollywood movie script!

A Minneapolis 'Gang Strike Force' unit appears to have just gone completely hog-wild with their abuse of power and authority, using their positions to extort the local ethnic groups out of their valuables.

And now it looks like it's time to pay the piper, to the tune of a $3 million dollar settlement.

Good news is, this corrupt group was closed down after many of their 'seized assets' couldn't be accounted for, and many of them were found guilty of misconduct and criminality.

The bad news is, NONE of these individuals actually served any jail time for their crimes:

The strike force was shut in 2009, after the state legislative auditor issued a report that said the strike force couldn't account for more than $18,000 in seized cash and 14 seized cars. An independent review issued later said that perhaps a dozen strike force employees engaged in misconduct, and some in criminal acts, by taking seized goods for their own use.

Although auditors and investigators found what they termed widespread abuses, former Minneapolis police Officer Jason Andersen was the gang unit's only member to face prosecution. He was acquitted of using excessive force when he kicked a teen during a 2008 incident.
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 30-12-2010 by DimensionalDetective because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 09:36 PM
I dont believe this kind of activity is limited to this police force.The very concept of policing has changed to a confrontational and very heavy handed method of ensuring public safety.
The Police have degraded themselves time and again, but they seem to keep going downhill in the honour department as well as the honesty dept.
The cruel and insensitive police we have today are a far cry from the ones we used to have some faith in.
It is my opine that it will get much worse yet.

posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by DimensionalDetective

You keep finding them, and I keep starring and flagging them. Thanks!

posted on Dec, 30 2010 @ 10:44 PM
These gang task forces seem to always go the scandal route? These officers are tasked with going into the most crime ridden sections of town, and they have to deal with some of the most violent offenders in the world of crime. From narcotic pushers, stick-up kids, and gang members. When one is around that element day in and day out, sometimes it grows on people. Furthermore, many of these officers are given extraordinary police powers.

The mayor or the chief wants the gang activity, murders, and drugs, down and these officers are tasked with making that happen. Plus, they are often pressured by their superiors to use all means necessary to get it done. In that high octane environment, I can see why some would lose their way. They have to make cases, and successful prosecutions. So, if it is by cutting a few corners to take a violent offender off the streets, some would feel it was all in a good days work.

However, even the most sinister criminals are protected by the law. If these cops extorted people as a result of their police activities, then they should be held accountable. How is what guys in blue and a gold medallion shaking down citizens any different than when a mafia thug does the same? If the person in the mafia is caught then are sent to the Pen. Therefore, if these police officers are convicted of wrongdoing, then they ought to be sent to prison. We have to stop making excuses for misconduct, and all the guilty parties from the top-down ought to be held accountable. Add this to the long list of other law enforcement scandals. Star and flag!
edit on 31-12-2010 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by Jakes51

Yeah, this story sort of reminded me of that movie, "Training Day", with Denzel Washington. It had all the same elements, except it was on a larger scale.

Really amazing that NONE of these individuals served a single day of jail time, despite being caught by investigators for outright criminality. If that was any of us, we would have been spending YEARS behind bars for those activities.

posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by DimensionalDetective

Yeah, the story did remind of "Training Day." I have spoken of this type of thing quite frequently on here, and I am not a police apologetic on subjects like the one in your OP. However, I am as concerned about the rampant corruption as everyone else.

To be fair, I am aware of what these individuals are asked to do when they go into these war zones to maintain some kind of order. Many lose their way, as they are pummeled by pressures of the job, superiors, and self righteousness in their cause. Perhaps, this is the mindset going in and it was been groomed by superiors and the politicians? Below is a portion of a interview by former Chicago Police Officer, Keith Herrera, and a member of the now disbanded Special Operations Section about how police officers in elite units are asked to do their jobs.

Officer Herrera Goes Public

"Get the guns, and get the drugs off the street. No matter what. At any cost. Just get 'em off."

Herrera says the mandate from his bosses was clear: the ends justify the means. SOS hauled in big caches of weapons and drugs, and across the city, the crime rate plummeted.

"Policing the way we did it, there were just certain steps that you had to take," Herrera says. "We're dealing with convicted felons, we're dealing with bad people, we're dealing with drug dealers. If you want these people to go to jail, you have to cross the line sometimes."

Asked what his supervisors thought of his techniques, Herrera tells Couric, "Keep it up. Long as you got the guns, long as you got the drugs, long as you're getting the bad guys, keep it up.' And if they tell you 'Keep it up,' you keep it up."

I know this is Chicago we are talking about, and it is regarded as one of the most corrupt cities in the Union. However, this type of behavior is in every city and town. We have heard similar stories from Los Angeles, New York City, and everywhere in between. The guys who were brought up on the charges are just small potatoes, and the higher-ups should be brought into account as well. They are the ones who cultivate and manufacture an environment were avarice and criminality thrives.

As long as the convictions come in, illegal gun seizures are off the streets, murders drop, and drugs disappear; everyone is happy. The chief and Mayor go the podium to pat each other on the back with gimmicks and political slogans. However, what they fail to take into account is what may have went on behind the scenes. We only hear about the underlings being called into question over their actions on the job, but what about the people issuing the orders?

edit on 31-12-2010 by Jakes51 because: Added more text.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 02:45 AM
I think that most cops are probably relatively decent people; the problem is that the bad apples are really, really bad. Case in point.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:22 AM
Nope. Everyone in that task force are bad apples, including their superiors.

What happened to police procedures? Had they sought to find out the root of the problem, tackle it with the Mayor if it is a social issue, or if it was a criminal one, to investigate who is the top dog,send him to jail, disband that gang?

Nope. They did nothing of that sort. They fought fire with fire, by becoming the fire. WIth their power and authority, they chosed the easy route and became corrupted in the process. Their bosses never cared, nor took a pause to study into effective crime fighting methods, except to use brute force.

The climate of fear rules, even when the crime rate goes down. Even the non criminal citizens are ruled by that fear, that sets in, making that state similar to a Stalin state, even if it was USA, land of the free, as one no longer knows who are the criminals - police or gang.

Although that task force had been dismantled, the crimes had not been stopped as there is no one willing to crack their head to stop it. The gangsters walked free, bosses praised and given rises, the charade goes on.

And the kicker is this- the taxpayers are the ones to bear for all costs without a complaint. It can only happen in USA.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:57 AM
This is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are a number of small city and town police departments that are just as corrupt.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 04:00 AM
I live in Minneapolis and was involved in some interesting situations in regards to the Gang Task Force. They literally broke every law possible to do their dirty work. They broke into homes and planted surveillance devices, raided with warrants that were not signed until after the raid, took property and money and some people didnt even go to jail. They took cars and electronics. They tried to beat information out of women whose hands were tied behind their backs all the while locked bathrooms. I remember going through a lot of stuff involving these pricks. They were putting guns to childrens heads and questioning them. Crazy stuff. They were NUTS.

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