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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Gordon votes against Dolan

I must say I was pleased that Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon voted against Police Chief Tim Dolan at the public hearing meeting today. While some may regard it as a “safe” vote, and we are not out of the woods yet, as it still needs to go before the full City Council, at least we have our Green Party CM on record leading the way toward Nonviolence and Diversity, two of the ten Key Values. While I am not currently an active member, I know this has been a source of tension in the Green Party. Today’s vote is a positive development. Gordon had a list of ten criteria, based on the last time Dolan was approved, of which I counted only five which had satisfactory progress. I was also impressed by CM Hodges’ thorough questioning of Dolan, and I was encouraged that CM’s Hodges and Tuthill abstained. CM’s Samuels, Johnson, and Hofstede voted in favor, so half the CM’s present did not vote in favor of Dolan.

The other major development of the day was that Civilian Review Authority (CRA) Chair Don Bellfield cancelled tonight’s meeting of the CRA, in violation of city law. (He should also be held in contempt of court for failing to appear at his Writ of Mandamus hearing last month.) So we held the meeting anyway, with a lot more citizen input. There were about 30 people there. The only CRA members who attended were Dave Bicking and Pam Franklin. CRA members can be kicked off the board for missing three meetings in a year. Four members for quorum, and open meeting requirements would have been necessary to hold an official meeting without Bellfield, so the city may also be complicit. If the meeting had taken place, Bicking would have introduced the same resolutions he did last month. One resolution would affirm that Bellfield is to notify the City Council Executive Committee that Dolan is subject to discipline. The other two resolutions would affirm that CRA member Bicking has the right to free speech as an individual not speaking on behalf of the CRA. Franklin would have voted in favor of those resolutions. It appears that Bellfield is running the clock out on Bicking, who is up for reappointment this month. Bellfield probably did not want to face a group of angry citizens. He was at the Dolan hearing in the afternoon, to share the CRA performance review of Dolan as agreed by the CRA, but his comments on “neutrality” sounded like a dig at Bicking.

In another bizarre development today, two sherriff’s deputies (or “process servers”) were waiting outside council chambers to serve Johnny Northside (Hoff), a vocal Dolan supporter, with legal papers, I assume having to do with his run-ins with ex-con sex offenders. Amazingly, he was able to elude the servers by exiting through the city council offices instead of the main chamber doors like the rest of us. Did he receive special treatment from the city? The city council sits on a raised bench or dais, with their own door that leads to their offices. If Northside walked around behind the seats of the CM’s, I would think that highly improper. As Guy Gambill pointed out on the Minneapolis Issues listserv, media interviews have always taken place in the hallway outside the chambers.

During the hearing, Northside held pro-Dolan signs behind the speakers so they would be seen on cable television, a tactic that has been used by our side in the past. He also had an obnoxious camera that sounded like a cell phone. The pro-Dolan people must have gotten there very early to sign up to speak, because I got there a half-hour early and was on the second page, and was only the second anti-Dolan speaker. I’d say nearly half the speakers were ours. To be fair, both sides pushed the envelope today. Our side kept defying Samuels’ order against applause. Most people kept their statements under two minutes, and if they didn’t the other side would call “time”. There was plenty said on both sides.

Here are my past posts on this issue…

Fire the Mineapolis Chief of Police


At Thu Mar 04, 03:03:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears John Hoff just loves the publicity. He knew just exactly where to sit so the TV camera would be on him the entire time people spoke at the podium. According to his Twitter feed Al Flowers told him the Sheriff's were waiting (why, I don't know. Hoff bashed Flowers all thru the Mayoral election). Hoff then slipped out the back door. Megan Goodmunson posted comments about Hoff's escape on Mpls Issues, that were contradicted by Hoff's own Twitter feed. Hoff removed the Flowers comment from his Twitter feed after the "lies" were pointed out(but I have it saved and printed out)and then tried to BS the forum about what really happened. I imagine to protect the staffers that ushered him out.

At Thu Mar 04, 07:53:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you write "our Green Party CM on record" interesting words to come out of a DFLer

At Thu Mar 04, 11:38:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

makes ya wonder why Al would tip him off, huh?

Perhaps EVERYONE can appreciate the disgust for a chomo (child molester!)

At Thu Mar 04, 09:08:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

I think we all respect the rule of law here, right? Our elected officials may represent different parties and municipalities, but I hope all would agree we mustn’t flout the law as we seek to see the law enforced. Whether fighting street crime or frivolous lawsuits, there are lawful ways to proceed, and I expect no less.

Yes, it looks like Hoff’s Twitter feed has been suspended, though it might have been for posting addresses and pictures. Does your snapshot look like this?

Here are some threads on the Minneapolis Issues List:

Johnny Northsides great escape from Hennepin County Sheriffs

Bizarre side note on Dolan hearing at City Hall

Harassment partially stopped

At Thu Mar 04, 09:59:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

One of Hodges’ questions to Dolan was if he knew how many times he had exercised his recourse power to dispute the evidence in appealing a sustained CRA complaint. Dolan’s answer was that he would have to get back to her. Well, even I knew that one, as I flashed an “OK” sign to Michael Cavlan, indicating “Zero”. Behind me I heard Michelle Gross or Jan Nye whispering the same thing.

After the hearing, Michelle Gross said that some of Dolan’s answers belied his supposed compliance with proper policy. For example, as I understand it, a reckoning period is not to be treated along the same lines as a statute of limitations. I will want to hear more thoughts from others on this.

At Thu Mar 04, 10:25:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

I was included in these news stories...

KSTP-TV: Public hearing includes criticism, praise for MPD chief

MPR: Dolan reappointment moves forward after public hearing

It's my fault my name was mispronounced on MPR, as I did not correct the chair. It's pronounced CLEE-land, with a hard "E".

At Sat Mar 06, 02:14:00 PM CST, Blogger Johnny Northside said...


There is no law against dodging service. The law is very clear on that. I am not required to spend quality face time with process servers for frivolous litigation any more than I am required to spend quality time with a Jehovah's witness who may also knock on my door, and be ignored just as much. (Though, for the record, I have yet to be home when either one arrives)

And, no, the lawsuit has nothing to do with the so-called "ex offenders," which is apparently the term you are using for REGISTERED LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDERS who are supposed to be closely monitored by the state and not concentrated in neighborhoods, good god.

(Where is your exquisite, finely-tuned sense of outrage out L3SOs being concentrated in a poor, predominantly people-of-color neighborhood? Are you saving up all your sympathy for convicted, monitored child molesters?)

No, the legal papers concerned "Pete The Pedophile" and his frivolous lawsuit filed against a score or so individuals and entities, of which I am three or four of them.

By the way, thanks for visiting our lovely city of Minneapolis to attend the Dolan hearing! Plenty of affordable homes for sale, here, I might add! Opportunities to fix the homes up and try to convert to "green energy," as I hope to do, and lead by example.

On another note...

You are, of course, just jealous that my side was organized enough to have signs and stickers and smart enough to seize the "mass consciousness high ground" where the camera was positioned. Our side sat and listened in silent respect to your side, not booing or jeering.

Your side, in contrast, ignored the chair when told not to clap. How exactly did your side win anything by the name-calling directed at the council? If any moderates were on the line and wavering either way, your side showed them the real ugliness of the Dolan bashers.

At Sun Mar 07, 12:53:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Thanks for the invite. I have not ruled out living in Minneapolis again, although it would be a longer commute, and I have an 81-year-old mother to look after. Foreclosed homes might be tempting, but I am still interested in underground earth homes, if I can afford one.

I tried to refrain from clapping, but apparently others got a little carried away. Maybe it was a peaceful mini-revolt. I know progressive contempt for Samuels is pretty open.

What I gained from all the name-calling is a new word for my vocabulary, “sycophant,” which is what you are, a servile flatterer of Dolan.

As for the L3SO’s, I called them ex-con sex offenders, and of course these perverts outrage me. Just because you’re against ‘em doesn’t mean I’m for ‘em. I don’t know this Pete guy, and I don’t know if he can prove you’re a vigilante.

Now that I’ve answered your questions, maybe you can answer mine. On your blog you said you “spoke to a high-ranking public official who shall remain nameless” and when the hearing started to break up, you were “whisked into council chambers.” Who whisked you? To get from the main council chambers to the council member offices, did you walk behind the council member seats, through the door to their left and our right, the same one through which the council members entered and exited? Or is there another door I don’t know about? After the public spoke, and before the council members spoke, there was a break in the action, when I thought the meeting was over and actually got up to leave. Is that when you made your move, or was it after the council members spoke? Was it after the public had left the main chamber? I must admit I don’t recall witnessing your exit. I know Jan Nye wanted to tell you off after the hearing but I don’t think she got the chance.

If any readers out there witnessed Johnny Northside’s “Great Escape,” please contact me. Usually the public goes back into the hall if they want to visit city council members in their offices, exiting the main chambers through the front door, and entering the council offices through their front door. I want to know which city officials assisted Johnny in this highly irregular maneuver. Either the city helped Johnny, or Johnny circumvented normal protocol. It might even be regarded as a breach of security!

At Mon Mar 08, 10:52:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Incredible! The Great Escape happened right under my nose!

Here’s a YouTube video of it…

…and an article by the Minneapolis Mirror…

Mayor Rybak's policy aide, Sherman Patterson, led Johnny Northside out the side door I was talking about, but they didn’t walk behind the council members’ seats. Instead, they walked behind the mayor’s seat – though Rybak wasn’t there. Apparently you can reach the door by walking along the (northeast?) side of the room, to the right of the public and left of the council. And it was at the very end of the meeting.

I reached down to get my coat and CUAPB packet. If I had stood up and turned to the right one second sooner, I might have observed it. But I didn’t observe it, so I couldn’t recall it. This caused me to think twice about what I said in my statement to the council. I suppose Johnny could argue this undercuts what I said about police testimony, but I still don’t think it’s the same. If I used force against someone I think I would remember why. I can still remember fights from childhood and who started them.

But I don’t think Johnny heard my statement, as the video shows. I had no idea he was walking around behind me. At least that spared me from him holding up pro-Dolan signs behind me!

After the meeting, out in the hallway, I remember Terry Yzaguirre talking about Hoff’s escape, and seeing Megan Goodmundson by herself. But at that moment I was more focused on the interview Michelle Gross was giving for the Uptake, and comparing notes with Dave Bicking about Cam Gordon’s vote.

Anyway, what I’m wondering now is, who really is Sherman Patterson and why did he give special treatment to Johnny Northside?

At Tue Mar 09, 09:57:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Blog boast: 'Great escape' at Mpls. City Hall
An aide to Mayor R.T. Rybak denies helping a blogger duck a deputy trying to serve him a lawsuit.
By MATT McKINNEY, Star Tribune

At Tue Mar 09, 10:17:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Two gained freedom, but no success stories
By LARRY OAKES, Star Tribune
Last update: June 9, 2008 - 8:59 PM

At Wed Mar 10, 05:59:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Grand jury probes cop's use of force

The matter involves an incident in which a black juvenile was kicked in the head by a member of the now disbanded Metro Gang Strike Force.

By RANDY FURST, Star Tribune
Last update: March 8, 2010 - 9:38 AM

"[Jason] Andersen's actions, which one police official said he believed was excessive force, occurred in July 2008, just three days before Minneapolis Chief Tim Dolan awarded Andersen the Medal of Valor for the Fong Lee case, despite the outrage the killing evoked among minority communities."


At Wed Mar 10, 11:48:00 PM CST, Blogger Johnny Northside said...

Tom, the Great Escape did indeed happen under your nose and, for that matter, everybody's nose. Kind of makes you wonder WHAT ELSE you miss: like how I would think progressives should care very much about Level Three sex offenders being dumped and concentrated in a poor neighborhood, where predominantly people of color live. But, no, you're too busy criticizing police who put their lives on the line every day to protect my neighborhood.

Where is your outrage over the people KILLING EACH OTHER in my neighborhood?

Where is your outrage over the way this pervert Pete Rickmyer managed to victimize people in my neighborhood AFTER being released from the sick puppy holding tank facility in Moose Lake. (The article you linked) Specifically, he was spanking minors at their place of employment. This was AFTER he was released from Moose Lake and went straight to my neighborhood.

With the court system being subverted, dodging service is an act of good citizenship and, believe me, I'm a VERY good citizen.

At Thu Mar 11, 10:42:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Johnny your issue is important but this week the urgent question is whether we will have another three years of brutality under Dolan. Seeing is believing: Brutality Videos. Congratulations, you did a great job of throwing me off-message.

At Mon Mar 15, 09:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Johnny Northside said...

Well, Tom, now that Dolan has been reappointed maybe you might have something more to say about my issue, which you say is "important," the concentration of dangerous, predatory Level Three sex offenders in my neighborhood, which is predominantly poor and people of color.

At Tue Mar 16, 07:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Yes, I'm not sure which ones if any I would release and where I would put them. I agree it's not fair to concentrate them in poor neighborhoods. But given how difficult it is for ex-cons to find jobs, I'm not sure where else society expects them to go. The problem is sounding pretty systemic, which is another reason we need more elected Greens. Which is one good thing I have to say about you, Johnny, at least you identify as a Green.


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