MPD Chief Harteau on Terrence Franklin shooting: His actions "dictated the outcome"

Categories: Crime, Police
JaneeHarteaurect.jpg
Harteau: "I fully support the actions of my officers and agree with the decision of the grand jury."
Shortly after news broke yesterday that a grand jury cleared all officers involved in the May 10 fatal shooting of burglary suspect Terrence Franklin, the MPD went public with its official account of what happened that fateful afternoon in a basement on the 2700 block of Bryant Avenue South.

SEE ALSO: Incoming MPD Chief Janeé Harteau suspended cops based on "rumor and innuendo"

The official account doesn't differ substantially from the version of events police leaked to the media months ago. According to the MPD's official line, during a struggle taking place moments before he was shot eight times by two officers, an out-of-control Franklin managed to wrest control of an MP5 submachine gun from an officer. He fired two shots, both of which hit cops (their wounds weren't life threatening). Officers then opened fire.

None of the cops in the basement at the time of the struggle and shooting had tasers.

Here's a key excerpt from the MPD's official account (to read the whole thing, click here):
terrencefranklin2.JPG
Terrence Franklin
After knocking Officer Mike Meath off balance and freeing himself from Sgt. Andy Stender, Franklin charged toward Officer Luke Peterson and forced him backwards into this wall. Officer Luke Peterson grabbed hold of Franklin by the hair and attempted to force him to the ground. Franklin, who was 5'11 and weighed 196 lbs, was able to free himself and he turned and charged toward Officer Mark Durand, who had moved to this area during the initial physical struggle to remove Franklin from behind the water heater. Officer Mark Durand and Officer Luke Peterson described this to investigators as something like a football tackle. It caused Officer Mark Durand, who is approximately 5'6 and weighs approximately 150 lbs, to leave his feet as he was thrown backwards into the dark laundry room. Officers Mike Meath and Luke Peterson followed, with Officer Ricardo Muro just behind them.

As Officer Mark Durand was forced off his feet and backwards into the laundry room, he removed his right hand from the pistol grip of the MP5 in order to brace his fall and ensure that his handgun remained holstered when he landed. Officer Mark Durand told investigators, "As I was falling, I looked down and could see that [Franklin's] finger was now inside the trigger well on my MP5. I took my left hand and attempted to push the muzzle of the barrel down and away towards my left. I screamed, "He's got a gun! He's got a gun!" and then 2 shots went off." Two 9mm discharged cartridge casings were found at the base of the washing machine. These casings came from Officer Mark Durand's MP5. One of the rounds fired by Franklin struck Officer Ricardo Muro, the other struck Officer Mike Meath. Sgt. Andy Stender dragged Officer Ricardo Muro to the base of the stairs and ran outside to secure his dog so he could return and assist in evacuating him.

After falling to the ground, Officer Mark Durand and Franklin continued to struggle for control of the MP5. During that struggle, the flashlight mounted on the barrel of the weapon turned on briefly, lighting up Officer Luke Peterson. He reported seeing that light travel up his body toward his head. He had already heard his fellow officers screaming that they had been shot and told investigators that he believed Franklin was going to shoot him. In his statement to investigators, Officer Luke Peterson said, " The suspect was going to continue to shoot at us so I collapsed into the submachine gun. I did this because my brain told me to trap the barrel of the gun with my bullet proof vest. I instinctively knew I would survive gunshot rounds to my vest and I also knew that by doing this it would prevent officers behind me from taking additional gunshots. I used myself and the vest essentially as a body bunker for the officers behind me and to prevent the suspect from shooting me in the head...I reached out in the darkness and felt for [the suspect's] head. I needed to do this because the light was either trapped by my body of had shut off...the suspect was still trying to work the weapon and was in control of it...I remember feeling the dreadlocks in the suspect's hair again and knew in the darkness where he was at. I also knew that Officer Durand was close to the suspect's head so I brought my handgun close to me and at a different angle so as to not shoot Officer Durand." Officer Luke Peterson then fired his handgun 4 times, stopping when he no longer felt Franklin fighting for control of the MP5.

At the same time, Officer Mike Meath, who had fallen to the ground after being shot, also made the decision to use deadly force. He later told investigators, " I remember lying on my butt on the basement floor and hearing the sounds of a struggle directly to my left. As I looked to my left I could make out two silhouettes. The first one I recognized as the suspect due to his dreadlocks. He was positioned on the ground sitting up with Officer Peterson directly on top of him. I could still hear "He's got a gun"...As I looked toward the suspect and Officer Peterson's position I immediately observed that the two appeared to be struggling over something...I immediately believed that this was the gun that was being yelled that the suspect had. I remember feeling extremely scared as if I was going to die in the basement along with Officer Peterson. I also remember after hearing someone yelling they had been shot that the pain I felt in my right hip area was my own gunshot wound...The next thing I remember was holding my firearm in my hands and firing...I remember the suspect's body going limp against Officer Peterson...At that point I immediately knew that I had to tend to my gunshot wound. I remember feeling extremely scared because I knew I only had 30 seconds to get the tourniquet on." Officer Luke Peterson and Officer Mark Durand immediately went to the aid of Officer Mike Meath and applied a tourniquet to his leg.
At a press conference last night, MPD Chief Janeé Harteau said, "Terrance Franklin's actions dictated the outcome on May 10th."

"This could have had a different outcome. Terrance Franklin had numerous opportunities to surrender, but it was clear by his actions, that from the beginning he had made the decision not to get caught at any cost," Harteau continued. "Terrance struck a squad; fled the scene; placed his own 9-11 call to divert officers from his location; kicked in a door and burglarized a home; fought officers and a K9 dog; and finally shot and wounded two Minneapolis police officers."

Mike Padden, the attorney representing Franklin's family, said he's not surprised by the grand jury's ruling or the MPD's official version of events.

Asked by a KSTP reporter whether he believes Franklin really grabbed for an officer's gun, Padden replied, "no way."

"Our position is that it never happened. If that happened he would have had to be suicidal; he wasn't suicidal," Padden continued, adding that he and Franklin's family plan to proceed with a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

"We believe there was a cover up. So we believe when the entire evidence is presented it will show that," Padden said.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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25 comments
Laura Gee
Laura Gee

The medical examiner's report was actually just released and... he was shot 10 times, including six grazing or entering his head. Definitely sounds like an excessive reaction on the part of the officers involved. But his DNA was also found on one of the officer's guns, so there is some validity to the MPD's account of what happened. I hope that more evidence like this is released to the public. PS I'm guessing that the medical report couldn't legally be released to the public until the investigation was concluded.

Todd Ellenson
Todd Ellenson

Two cops were shot, enough said. He made several bad decisions.

Nita Vs Nene
Nita Vs Nene

And just another thought he has been deceased since May what is the hold up with the report if it hasn't been released. Something just isn't sitting right with this story this could have been any ones son.

Laura Gee
Laura Gee

Now THIS is the event where all the outrage should be directed at the MPD. Based on facts that can actually be confirmed, they shouldn't have been driving so aggressively in busy traffic when the actual threat had already been neutralized. Totally senseless and preventable loss for both young victims and their loved ones.

Nita Vs Nene
Nita Vs Nene

Laura actually I don't have a source but the news and media are saying the same thing. And so far no one (police) is not denying its not true as long as this story has been out if it wasn't I think if it was false they would have said so by now.

Laura Gee
Laura Gee

With the medical report not being released and people appearing to just repeat hearsay said by Franklin's family, all we can do is look at the OBJECTIVE facts. We objectively know that Franklin has dozens of previous charges, including multiple charges of Obstructing the Legal Process, Hit and Run, Disorderly Conduct, Domestic Assault, Fleeing an Officer, Giving Officer a False Name, Terroristic Threats, Prohibited Possession of a Firearm, Drugs, etc. etc. You can look up his criminal record online. So we know objectively that he's had a LONG history of resisting officers, violent offenses, and countless others. And we know objectively that he once again was fleeing police and his actions and choices that day initiated a violent struggle with police. Yet all you people are blindly believing that on that day, the cops are totally at fault for the outcome. There are plenty of bonafide instances of police brutality and abuse of authority. Why not get in a tizzy and fight for one of THOSE victims, instead of this instance where, at a minimum, Franklin's choices that day were a large contributor to his death.

Laura Gee
Laura Gee

The medical examiner's report was never released to my knowledge. Can you cite your source for claiming the locations of his gunshots? Or just repeating hearsay that you heard somewhere, sometime?

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

I'm ready some good posts, but mostly people just opening their word hole for no reason at all... All I hear is blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah....

jo1glex
jo1glex

It took the cops 4 months to cook up this lame story?  Good Lord. Just from this story, all these cops should be fired.  They follow a guy into a dark basement and one guy kicks the crap out of 4 armed cops, takes their gun, and then shoots them while wrestling 4 cops at once?  Bullcrap.  All the melodramatic touches, like "I remember feeling extremely scared because I knew I only had 30 seconds to get the tourniquet on."...yeah, he was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released.  A little bit of mercurochrome and a smily-face Band-Aid.

These guys panicked, screwed up, shot each other and Franklin.  If Franklin hadn't been such an idiot he would have surrendered immediately, at which point they would have beat the shit out of him but he'd be alive.

And great job Chief Harteau, telling the world the Minneapolis Cops can't control a scene and are helpless at the hands of a 20-something moron. The whole point of Police work is to "dictate the outcome," or did they not get to that part in the Affirmative Action Cop Program Harteau went through.

sosmpls
sosmpls

The police didn't do anything that I, as a home owner wouldn't have done.

I wouldn't have waited until he shot me before I shot him for breaking into my home!

Nita Vs Nene
Nita Vs Nene

Everybody knows Lucas Peterson is an aggressive cop. Im not saying Terrance was an angel but him getting shot 5 times in the head and twice in the back is overkill. They could have tasered him or anything I just don't see him being a threat to more than 6 cops and it was only him.

mars
mars

One more thug off of the streets - boo hoo!!

Lynn Cronquist
Lynn Cronquist

Because the witnesses had a radar unit? There is evidence from the squad video and reconstruction that the squad was going slower.

Bob Henry
Bob Henry

Why is the MPD using MP5's? What possible reason do they need these for. The winners write the history and if the loser is dead it just makes it that much easier...

jo1glex
jo1glex

@Laura Gee   The ME's report also contradicts the police investigation report in some critical ways.  The investigation states that the police shot Franklin 8 times.  The ME says 10.  The investigation lists Franklin as being taller and significantly heavier (in other words, much larger and more menacing) than the ME's report.

sosmpls
sosmpls

@jo1glex Of course the police lied, You forgot to mention that Franklin was being attacked by a police dog, but the world is a better place without him. And we, the taxpayers, don't need another multi-million dollar pay out .

Realist
Realist

@jo1glex That's a comfortable chair you must be sitting in while you blow nothing but hot air and ignorance.

keny1
keny1

@Nita Vs Nene 

Let me guess..........Franklin was a victim of the white man trying to bring him down?

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Bob HenryWhy not? Reliability, accuracy, ease of handling, simple maintenance, and safety? 

It still uses the basic 9mm round found in about half of the forces side arms. Or are you upset because it looks scary?

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@sosmpls  There will absolutely be another multi-million dollar payout.  But it won't directly hit the city, nor us taxpayers in Mpls.  The city of Mpls. has insurance that covers payouts. That's the main reason they opt to write all the checks rather than go to trial, and that's why there's no meaningful pressure to improve training or procedures or do anything that prevents these situations. 

Of course, you'd think the insurance companies would start to put pressure on municipalities that cause them to write out lots of checks. I'm not sure why they aren't jacking up rates or even cutting off certain cities. But they don't.  Probably political pressure, and probably they recoup their losses by jacking up everyone else's rates.    That would be a story worth pursuing.

keny1
keny1

Attention Negro Whore:

He was a fucking threat when he grabbed one of the officer's guns and shot at them. What fucking part of that don't you understand? 

sosmpls
sosmpls

@swmnguy @sosmpls How do you know the insurance companies don't raise the cities' rates?

Another interesting story worth pursuing would be the huge pay out to the lawyers, most whom are large donors to the Liberal candidates and their causes.

m.vukelich
m.vukelich

@keny1  WOW? You need to shut your racist mouth you ignorant fuck! Quit making all of us white folk look like fucking racists!

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