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Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
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Patrol

A Mess in Minneapolis

Weak and politically accommodating city and police leadership have led to the disgusting and dangerous siege at Precinct Four.

December 03, 2015  |  by Randy Sutton - Also by this author

A police precinct under siege. Mobs of violent people scream and chant unintelligibly as they throw rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails, and fire gunshots at the besieged police with veritable impunity. The occupying mob erects tents and lean-tos and stays warm with fires burning in metal barrels. Meanwhile the police are hunkered down inside the precinct only to emerge to "stay the line" against the horde and once again face insults, assaults, injuries, all the while being forced to do nothing because of a government paralyzed by fear of political repercussions.

Unfortunately, this is not the plot of some apocalyptic Hollywood film. It is the reality of Minneapolis Police Precinct 4 since Nov. 15. In what I can only describe as another perversion of our First Amendment rights, protesters reminiscent of those in “Flaming Ferguson” have seized upon unsubstantiated rumors about the killing of a black suspect by a white police officer to violently protest. And in keeping with the now ever-present racial agenda in America, the well-oiled occupying force of the Black Lives Matter mob and their anarchist allies have descended upon the city.

The Minneapolis version of the big Ferguson lie of "Hands Up Don't Shoot" is that a peaceful black youth named Jamar Clark was viciously set upon by two brutal white officers who handcuffed him and shot him in the head in full view of lots of community members. This story even on its face strains the boundaries of belief, but as we have seen all over our country in the last year or so, never let the facts get in the way of a good politically driven racial agenda.

The tragedy in Minneapolis, though, is that if the city had strong, effective, and intelligent leadership in the positions of mayor and chief of police, this situation might never have unraveled to the point of what is in reality an occupying force taking over a police precinct and a neighborhood. But Mayor Betsy Hodges and Chief Janee’ Harteau, who have famously been filmed doing the "hands up don't shoot dance" celebrating the
great lie" of Ferguson, have already surrendered any semblance of credible leadership. Instead of giving the media and community a fact-based briefing on this police use of force, they instead threw their officers completely under the bus by releasing no facts and instead called for a federal investigation of the police. This abdication of leadership is astounding yet unfortunately not without precedent in the brave new world of politically correct police and city leadership.

The MPD is an agency of approximately 1,100 sworn personnel. It is a professional law enforcement agency in a major American city, and as such, it has protocols for dealing with the media. But the MPD's current chief has chosen to simply say nothing of substance and into that void of information has come the destructive rumors now festering within the community. That is gross negligence or total incompetence at the very least and an effort to advance a politically motivated agenda at worst.

The real question is of course what really happened to end Jamar Clark's life. To discover this we have to look outside what should be the source of this info, the chief and the Minneapolis PD's public information office.

To hear the voice in the wilderness of what actually took place leading up to the shooting of Jamar Clark, we must turn to Lt. Bob Kroll, the head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis. Because as union leader he is beyond the reach of the apparatus controlled by the mayor and chief, Kroll has stepped into the void to explain why the officers were forced to use deadly force during the confrontation with what the press is of course calling another “unarmed black youth,” who according to his relatives was a “peaceful man getting his life together."

According to Kroll, Jamar Clark died as a result of his own violent criminal choices and actions. On the night of the shooting MPD officers were dispatched to assist medical personnel on an ambulance who were attempting to treat and transport a female victim of a beating. She reportedly suffered that beating at the hands of Jamar Clark, the man Black Lives Matter is holding up as a peaceful angel. Kroll says that while the EMTs were treating the beaten woman, Clark showed up and attempted to drag her out of the ambulance and fought with the crew, who called for police assistance. When two MPD officers arrived they tried to take Clark into custody but instead of complying he got into a violent fight with the two officers. Kroll says at some point during the struggle, Clark attempted to wrest away one of the officer’s sidearms and was shot. He was not handcuffed at the time.

And Clark was no angel. He was a convicted felon with a history of violence. At the time of his death, he had been recently released on probation after pleading guilty to making terroristic threats in an incident where he threatened to burn the apartment of a girlfriend. The girlfriend and her children were in the dwelling at the time and Clark reportedly set a trail of lighter fluid to do the job. So his tendencies of using violence against women are well documented. And if the totality of circumstances reported by Kroll is correct, then this shooting was justified on every level.

The question now of course is even if the evidence reveals the officers used deadly force against Clark within all legal and moral guidelines, will that quiet the protesters? Will they pack up their tents and sheepishly saunter away chastised by the truth? Not a chance, because none of the theater that Black Lives Matter and their cronies perform for the ever-too-complicit media is based on justice or truth. It is based on lies and a racially motivated political agenda that has its tentacles entwined in government and media and well-funded organizations that fundamentally oppose an American way of life that is eroding under their onslaught.

This commentary is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Police Magazine/PoliceMag.com.


Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

kjh204 @ 12/4/2015 6:52 AM

Why are no photos of Clarks victim on the news media? Where are the victims advocate groups in this matter? We are in trouble as a society

Geraldine Carlton @ 12/4/2015 9:08 AM

Thank you for the truth and writing this is a manner that puts it right where it should be in the laps of the Chief and the Mayor. I a a Auntie to two police officers that work herein Minneapolis and when I see their lives or any lives being put in danger due to an agenda it really makes me angry. No they won't go away, they have not been held to the same law that other's are. Day one each and everyone of them should of been arrested and charged. God Bless our Officers

Blaine Smith @ 12/4/2015 9:12 AM

These people are being incentivized. This is a travesty.

Kendra Marybeth Davenport @ 12/4/2015 9:14 AM

Because no one cares about her, at least, not in the media. Maybe it has to do with her gender?

Anyways, the author is right, no one wants to talk about the fact that Jamar Clark was far from an innocent man. He attacked the paramedics trying to help the person he'd just beat up, which is the criminal charge of interfering with an emergency service worker, and then tried to escape by attacking a police officer, and was shot was struggling for the gun.

And yes, BLM doesn't care about the innocent woman who Mr. Clark attacked or his interfering with paramedics trying to treat her, or him trying to grab the police officer's gun. They only care about the lives of certain black people.

SUSAN Churchill Reck @ 12/4/2015 9:38 AM

Thank you Randy Sutton for bringing this to the nation's attention by this wonderful, thought provoking article! I am convinced, that had you not come on board with the help of Mike Kroll, this Governor, Mayor and Chief would have had the blood of one or more of these brave Officers of the 4th Precint, on their hands! God Bless and please continue to shine The bright BLUE light on the War against our Police all over this country...

david campbell @ 12/4/2015 9:39 AM

interesting

RPG @ 12/4/2015 10:04 AM

As long as the police are prevented from enforcing the law and arresting law-breakers, all society is in danger because the constantly reinforced message is that violent protest is tolerated and an acceptable social reaction to an propaganda-fueled temper tantrum.

Gary Carver @ 12/4/2015 1:19 PM

I can't speak to any part of the veracity of this article as I know only what I read. In the larger context, I suspect the truth lies somewhere in a much grayer area. As I read article after article on this issue, I always wonder about the 'victim.' If what is stated above is true, then the police acted in the only way they could; no problem. But two things come to mind. 1)Where are the reporters in Minneapolis and why didn't they get this straight? Investigative reporting is a dying art in this country and has ramifications far beyond this isolated instance. 2) There have been any number of recent events of this nature in which, thanks to social media and the like, the Rodney King film,of officers removing evidence, changing things at the scene of the incident, shooting a kid 16 times, shooting an 11 year old, etc that can't help but bring distrust from the community. Maybe the mayor did error, but to shovel the entire responsibility away from police action, is equally erroneous.

Shari Peterson @ 12/4/2015 9:54 PM

Good points Gary. And noone is saying we don't care about the victims of domestic violence. In fact it is the opposite. If women believe that police are going to play judge and jury when they are called on a domestic dispute, that police will take the matterr into their own hands, Aaot of women are not going to call. In effect that makes women less safe.

I don't know if that's what happened or not. Police working in areas like North Minneapolis need excellent and continuous training in cultural/competency, sensitivity and responsiveness. I would like to see them be required to be engaged in intergroup dialogue processes as well, to help reduce the negative stereotypes they hold about African- Americans, which colors their judgement.

My biggest question is why are officers shooting to kill? I have no training in that kind of work, but imagine that in many of these cases, officers would not need to kill to Protect themselves.

Eric Bormann @ 12/5/2015 3:21 AM

My friend is an Officer in the 4th Precinct. He said they have now looked up his wife's Facebook page and posted photos of his wife and two young daughter online. I'm sure he's not the only officer to have his spouse and children posted online for everyone to see. This movement has no legitimate purpose. It's a movement that with an agenda that seeks to ingratiate it's loud mouthed leaders by creating an industry in false allegations and political theater. This movement is an insult to all past, present and future claims of legitimate racism or intolerance. I believe Black leaders who suffered true racism like Dr.King or the The Tuskegee airman would be appalled and ashamed of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It's Sad. In Mpls it's almost a mob mentality at this point. It's a feeding frenzy. The mayor, the Police Chief and the city council are frozen and impotent in their progressive politically correct mindset has them afraid and cowering.

LawEnforcement leaders. Listen, watch and learn. This is what not to do in the face of real live theater staring the criminal element and it's politically driven self engrandizing leaders.

Travis @ 12/5/2015 5:21 AM

Shari, I have vast training and experience in the field of law enforcement. As much of the public does not know, officers use their firearms only when they or others are facing a deadly force situation. Officers are not trained to "shoot to wound" or "shoot to kill." There is no such thing. They are trained to shoot to stop the threat. That means shooting the threat until the threat ceases to be a threat. That could be one bullet or twenty. Officers are not trained to shoot suspects in the leg, shoulder, foot, etc. They are trained to shoot center mass multiple times. Some are even trained to shoot in the head in case the suspects are wearing body armor. Suspects should always be handcuffed after a shooting because they are technically in custody regardless of how many bullet holes they have in them.

Jennifer pullins @ 12/5/2015 8:25 AM

Personally I think they are making a splash because we have a black man as president.creating a bunch of drama. Obama is on the black racial hot seat. They are grabbing what they can while he's in the white house. It'll be interesting to see how things go once he's gone. I'm for equal rights, we all have a beating heart. Schools ,healthcare, it's all out there for a better life. Utilize it.

Steve @ 12/5/2015 5:59 PM

Let me say my dad was a cop for the 3rd and I support the Blue. But the leadership of the Minneapolis Police Cheif to not take control and invite trouble as did Ferguson, Baltimore etc is beyond me. Take damn control and bust some damn skulls for God sake. You have invited thugs from all over to a party and party they are doing while putting your butts on the line. Your Cheif is to damn afraid of not being PC and doing what's wrong she refuses to do what's right. HASNT the Police learned what NOT TO DO after giving in to those that just want to harass? Time to do what Cops do and take charge and clear out those just want to intimidate, destroy and harm you all. The Cheif is being laughed at all over town and seeing them with their fires and cookouts made some comment if the Cheif, Mayor will start handing out wieners and marshmallows to those occupying that area. She has become as has the mayor a joke to of allowed this to go this far. If the officers are innocent then dammit end of story. If you have video proving it then show it, but stop the nonsense. The men and women in Blue we care and pray for but you need better leadership.

shari peterson @ 12/5/2015 7:07 PM

Way to promote and provoke fear, dumbass. Take a valium.

shari peterson @ 12/5/2015 7:20 PM

Jennifer, do you realize that property taxes fund schools? When I lived in North Minneapolis, my property taxes were about $600 for the year, whereas the same house in Edina would pay about $3000 Per year. Schools are funded with those property taxes. so they can't pay teachers, they can't buy books, computers, etc.
Health care requires copays, transportation, and a job that gives you time off.

BaM @ 12/22/2015 5:17 PM

Twas the night before Christmas, here in the city
It wasn’t that quiet, it was still pretty busy
I drove my patrol car around here and there
With hopes it’d stay quiet, but still aware

Hoping the thugs and the Low-lifes, would stay home this night
I know it is doubtful, but there has to be hope, right?
May the radio stay silent, to the end of my shift
May nobody need me, let that be my gift

Let the merry revilers, not drink & drive
For I want no crashes, No anguished cries
No crackheads or Dopers, that pop too much
No overdoses, face down in the slush

As the time passes by, the snow starts to fall
My shifts almost over, not one single call
I know all of my brothers, share in my wish
That it will stay quiet, all return from the shift

From the courtyard of the projects, Shots ring through the night
I whip a u-turn, and switch on my lights
I call on the radio, for more help to come
Then get out of my car to see what was done

I approach slowly, with gun in hand
Now it is silent, there

Bob peterson @ 1/2/2016 4:48 PM

Police don't usually shoot white people in their neighborhoods because white people know not to point guns at police. I ,as a white person know if I point a gun at or run at police with a ball bat, I'm going to get shot. Is it possible for schools or minority parents to teach their children that. As far as I am concerned , anyone pointing a gun at police needs to be shot. All lives matter.

Sherry @ 1/18/2016 11:27 PM

Wow, it is so unfair. I am in Phoenix Arizona. An officer leaves his K-9 in this car and it died. An accused criminal kills a K-9 attempting to get away. The accused criminal is treated as if he killed a human officer but the officer that left his dog in the car to die gets in no trouble at all. Officers shoot dogs that belong to people all the time and get in no trouble. People are tired of the double standards. Double standards are not a correct way of doing things. Police Officers are not an extension of God. How and why they think everyone needs to obey everything that they say to you is crazy. Officers have over stepped there bounds far too long. The video camera has shown just a tip of what people have been dealing with for such a long time.

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