Bob Fletcher, former Ramsey County Sheriff, fictionalized terrorism reports

Bob Fletcher: An active imagination.
Former Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher's office apparently dreamed up the whole idea that his jurisdiction was under threat from dozens of domestic and international terrorism groups in 2005.

And, there's no record of 78 Terrorism Information Briefs his administration claimed to have filed in a 2009 budget report.

The threats "came from an active imagination," Randy Gustafson, Sheriff Matt Bostrom's spokesman, said in an interview with the Daily Planet. The briefs "never existed." The research was done by staffers cruising the internet and watching CNN.

It's hardly the first time Fletcher and his office have been at the center of controversy.

Some of his department's handiwork was employed in the run-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention, when he directed preemptive raids against Twin Cities activists who later became known as the RNC 8. Two years after they were arrested in the guns-drawn raid, the cases against them fizzled.

The Metro Gang Strike Force, Fletcher's brainchild, was probed by the FBI, disbanded, and now stands as a monument to overzealous policing and corruption, with taxpayers cleaning up the mess it left behind.

The non-existent terrorist threats and reports detailed over the weekend were the result of an office trying to look good and justify salaries, Gustafson told the Daily Planet. And now that Bostrum is the new sheriff in town, it sounds like we may hear more about Fletcher's paper trail.

UPDATE: Fletcher denies that the reports are fictional and blames his successor in an interview with City Pages

Previous Coverage

* Meet Bob Fletcher, Ramsey County's most controversial cop

* Did Bob Fletcher fictionalize terrorism reports?

* Secret government informer "Karen Sullivan" infiltrated local activist groups

* Moles Wanted: FBI recruits informants in advance of RNC

* Police raid anarchist homes in advance of RNC

* RNC Arrests: A police state of mind

* Amy Goodman sues cops over RNC arrest

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It's no surprise to many people that this guy is a liar and probably a crook. His time in office was marked by flagrant violations of civil rights and a lot of dramatic stories that sounded like scenes from '24.'

The depressing part is that a lot of us saw that his personality type was trouble in this role, and we were disturbed by his behavior and his ignoring requests for records, but our complaints fell on deaf ears. Worse, where was the mainstream media? Isn't this exactly the role of the press, to investigate power-mad civil servants and expose abuse? Why did we have to wait for his replacement to edge across the Thin Blue Line before we started to learn of Fletcher's specific abuses?

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