Chris Lollie's arrest symptomatic of racist justice system, ACLU director argues

Lollie also certainly wouldn't have been forced to pose for this mugshot if he wasn't black, Chuck Samuelson argues.
For ACLU-MN Executive Director Chuck Samuelson, the most likely explanation for the way Chris Lollie was treated by St. Paul law enforcement -- including his rough arrest and the charges he was subsequently hit with  -- is skin deep.

"The justice system is slanted against African American males, and this is a perfect example," Samuelson told us during a recent interview.

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech

More »

Minnesota Family Council decries settlement forcing Little Falls business to host gay wedding

Categories: GLBT, Law
Cole Frey and Adam Block
Cole Frey and his fiance, Adam Block, wanted to have their wedding at LeBlanc's Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation in Little Falls. But when the business owner found out the wedding involved two dudes, they told the couple to look elsewhere.

Frey and Block informed officials in the state's Department of Human Rights about the situation. One of them contacted the Little Falls business pretending to want to schedule their own gay wedding there and received pretty much the same treatment Frey and Block did.

See also:
Mpls attorney Josh Newville leading fight for marriage equality in South Dakota

More »

Angela Brown charged for giving medical marijuana to her ailing son

Courtesy of Angela Brown
Angela Brown and her son, Trey.
:::: UPDATE :::: Prosecutor isn't talking about why he decided to charge medical marijuana mom Angela Brown

In a year, she'd be applauded as nothing more and nothing less than a law-abiding, caring mom. But fact is, Minnesota's medical marijuana law hasn't gone into effect and won't until next summer, so instead, Angela Brown faces criminal charges.

The Madison, Minnesota resident has been hit with two gross misdemeanor charges for giving medical marijuana to her son, Trey, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was struck in the head by a baseball in the spring of 2011.

See also:
9-year-old pot snitch told police, "Doing drugs is bad"

More »

Champions lawsuit alleging systemic city racism against "black bars" likely died with business

With the bar and its lawsuit going the way of the dodo, this might be the last time we write about Champions.
In 2012, Champions Sports Bar and Grill, a Lake and Nicollet dive, filed suit against the city of Minneapolis alleging officials, motivated by a desire to drive "establishments which cater to the African American community" out of business, had been unlawfully harassing the bar and its ownership for the better part of two years.

The city was in the habit of "violating the due process rights of establishments which cater to the African American community by attempting to impose unnecessary liquor license conditions on those establishments in an attempt to drive those establishments out of business," the lawsuit, which sought hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city for retaliation, defamation, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and violation of due process, among other claims, said.

See also:
Champions Sports Bar haven for crack cocaine dealing, says Minneapolis police

More »

Twenty years after first case, lawyer to sue state again over school segregation

Categories: Law

Lawyer Daniel Shulman

School segregation was supposed to end in 1955, after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court rulings found that segregated schools were "inherently unequal" and illegal. It was supposed to end again in Minneapolis in 1995, when lawyer Daniel Shulman took the state to court over the segregated nature of Minneapolis's schools, even getting a few reforms to help fix the problem.

But nearly 20 years after that case, it looks like some of Minneapolis's schools are still just as segregated as ever. This time, Shulman's taking the state to court again, to hopefully stop the practice once and for all.

See also:
Twin Cities worst in U.S. for racial unemployment disparities

More »

Here are creepy emails Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell sent his 17-year-old love

Categories: Creepy, Crime, Law, Sex
Tim Scannell
Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell is currently on trial for two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with a relationship he carried on with a 17-year-old girl a couple years ago. (July 28 update -- A jury convicted Scannell of both counts.)

During testimony this week, Scannell, who in late 2011 was nearly shot to death in the Cook County Courthouse by a 42-year-old man who he'd just tried and convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, denied that the relationship ever progressed beyond kissing. The now 19-year-old girl, on the other hand, testified that Scannell, 48, touched her breasts and butt and pressured her to have oral sex with him at least once.

See also:
Uptown Vapor Shoppe removes "No Statutory Vape" sign following Facebook outcry

More »

Supreme Court ruling on cell phone privacy is "really big deal," ACLU's Samuelson says

Categories: Law
All these folks agree officers need a warrant to search your cell phone.
This week, in a rare unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before searching cell phones.

The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, says that just because smartphones now allow people to carry vast quantities of their personal information around with them "does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought."

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech

More »

Reid Sagehorn sues following suspension from Rogers High for tweet about kissing teacher

Categories: Education, Law
Reid Sagehorn picture via Jacki V. Seniors
In late January, somebody posted this tweet on an online forum called "Roger confessions" -- "did @R_Sagehorn3 actually make out with [name of female school teacher]."

Reid Sagehorn himself sarcastically replied, "Actually yeah." A suspension and school transfer later, Sagehorn is now suing Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen, Elk River School District Superintendent Mark Bezek, Rogers High School Principal Roman Pierskalla, Assistant Superintendent Jana Henne-Burr, and police liaison Stephen Sarazin in federal court for the allegedly overzealous way they handled his punishment.

See also:
Reid Sagehorn won't be charged for tweet about kissing a teacher

More »

MNGOP endorsed Supreme Court candidate who faces DUI trial

Categories: Crime, Law, MNGOP
Michelle MacDonald
Two weeks ago, Michelle MacDonald, a family law attorney with three Twin Cities offices, won the Minnesota Republican Party's endorsement to run for the Supreme Court against incumbent Justice David Lillehaug.

Now she's in the news for very different reasons -- it just came to light she faces a criminal trial this fall stemming from an April 5, 2013 DUI arrest.

See also:
Andy Parrish apologizes for slapping MNGOP activist after allegedly calling him "cream puff"

More »

ACLU argues Minnesota sobriety test law is unconstitutional

Categories: Law
West Midlands Police on Flickr
The ACLU-MN argues being arrested for refusing to take tests of this sort violates the Fourth Amendment.
Do you know it's a crime in Minnesota to merely refuse to submit to a sobriety test?

It's a lesson a man named William Bernard learned the hard way two years ago when he was approached by police at a public boat ramp and asked to undergo field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer exam. Bernard refused, was arrested, and ultimately convicted of a felony for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

See also:
MN ACLU explains why Duck Dynasty dude's anti-gay comments aren't protected speech

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault