MPR Goes to the Fair: Amy Klobuchar and Susan Gaertner on crime, law and justice in the Twin Cities

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Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County attorney; and Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County attorney in a live broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair. Ramsey and Hennepin County Attorneys talk about legal affairs in the Twin Cities including police brutality, racism and the police shooting and subsequent riot in North Minneapolis.

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(00:00:00) With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm erisa Helms minute Minneapolis Police officials are thanking Community groups who patrolled an area of North Minneapolis last week and credited them with reducing tensions in the area. However, the sponsors of the patrols say they will pull out of the neighborhood which was the site of a disturbance last week when police ran wounded an 11 year old boy during a drug raid. They say they're suspending the patrols because some area residents say they don't need them their neighborhood resident and Yen says the patrols weren't really necessary. I don't think it's necessarily that they aren't welcome. I think it's more of a misunderstanding of what the mission or the purposes are. They specifically there just to keep peace in the neighborhood because that really isn't needed our neighborhood generally is a peaceful neighborhood. You'd says she's not opposed to outside groups working. With the neighborhood and trying to eliminate the open-air drug dealing which occurs along the area's main Corridor. The biggest spending candidate in Minnesota's race for governor isn't even in the race anymore. The latest campaign Finance reports show that Orono businessman Brian Sullivan spent 2.8 million dollars in his unsuccessful two-year quest to become Minnesota's Governor. Most of Sullivan's spending came out of his own pocket in the weather forecast today mostly to partly cloudy. There is a chance of showers and thunderstorms at this hour in st. Cloud. It's fair and 67 degrees and in the Twin Cities. It's seven degrees with overcast Skies. That's the latest from the Minnesota Public Radio Newsroom. I'm erisa Helms Programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening rural Minnesota communities online at blandin Foundation dot-org. Well. Good morning. Welcome to midday coming to you live today from the Minnesota State Fair. I'm Gary eichten. And if you're out here at the fair today or any day during the run of the fair do make sure you stop by our Minnesota Public Radio Booth. We are located near the corner of Judson and Nelson just across the street from the river raft ride and the Gridiron Zone exhibition. Now, we should note that Rachel re B is going to be along at noon with a special Main Street radio broadcast here on midday. So stay tuned this first hour, though. We're going to talk about fighting crime and preventing crime in the state of Minnesota joining us today here on the stage is Hennepin County attorney. Amy Klobuchar and Ramsey County attorney Susan gairdner. They represent the two biggest counties in the state. They are both up for re-election this year, but that is a mere formality. Because they're both unopposed. So they're going to be in office for another four years. If you have a question for the county attorney's great opportunity to find out more about how the system operates or doesn't operate. If you're here in the audience Kate Smith is wandering around with a microphone and she'll get a microphone to you. So you can get your questions answered there comes K. Those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call on our traditional call inline-6 512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free and that number is 1-800-218-4243 or 1-800 to four two two eight two eight. We're talking with the county attorney's this hour and welcome back to midday. Well Gary, it's great to be on this is Amy and I just wanted to note for your mouth. Most health conscious MPR visitors that you were serving french fries for breakfast here at the State Fair. Well, you can't beat it with a stick. It was pretty good and mine. Also, you mentioned that Susan and I are both unopposed which is a nice thing to be but I still it's not still a formality. I think one of the most important things in election year whether you have an opponent or not is to get out there talk about what you've been doing. What you plan to do in the future. I think accountability is so much a part of our election process. So we're still going to be doing that. I'm going to still be out there with some lawn signs and my plans for the next four years. Well Susan Amy, you were on Labor Day last year out here at the fair very popular program. But you know, the question is what have you done for us lately, I would think by now all the bad guys would be in the hoosegow and there'd be no need for counting you prosecutors. Well, there are a lot of bad guys still out there. But Amy and I have been working on some new projects. We got a huge new task as of August 1st. And that is that we are now responsible for felony. DWI is for the prosecution of people who Committed at least for drunk driving incidents in four years. It's a huge new task a really important new task that we think is going to make a big impact on Public Safety. It's something that Amy and Jim Backstrom and many of our colleagues in the County Attorney business have been working on for years. And now it's a reality and the cases are rolling in I was pretty discouraged to have three or four cases already within less than a week of the new law. So it was obviously very necessary is that felony DWI laws that kind of make the roads safer. That's the plan and when you look at the numbers we have over 500 people in our state with 10 or more DWIs and while in the rest of the country in the last decade we saw a reduction in the number of drunk driving deaths in Minnesota. We buck that Trend and we've had an increase. So that's one of the reasons that we worked with a number of groups at the legislature to get this bill passed in the idea is not just to get some of our current We're drunk drivers who have four or more convictions in 10 years off the streets for a while, but also to get them treatment because so many of them we had one guy recently arrested with 23 DWIs. So you can imagine that there are going in and out of County Work houses and they're not getting the help they need and the idea is and the treatment provider supported this to not only have The Stick of prison out there but also the carrot that if they complete treatment if they get through this they're not going to have to serve more prison time. So we're hopeful this is going to work. We've had 11 cases so far in Hennepin County. The first one was a boating boating while intoxicated BWI. We've now had two of those I did explain to the residents in that area that those are somewhat seasonal we won't be seeing as many of those in December but we are going to work hard to enforce these laws more people are killed every year in our state by drunk drivers and they are by guns or knives or other forms of violence. And I think people don't always think that when they listen to the radio or read the Paper watch TV and you have to keep in mind that car in the hands of a drunk is just like a gun Washington County judge was quoted as saying the law is all fine and good but there isn't enough money to provide the kind of intense supervision that the law in visions and so, you know, you're arresting people and presumably some of them could end up in prison, but there isn't really the money to provide all the services that are supposed to be part and parcel of this. Well, there's no question that money is a big concern in Ramsey County. We expect to have between 225 and 300 of these cases a year and intensive supervision really keeping track of these people is going to be an important part of making a difference really keeping our roads safe. And so I think that what our public policy leaders are going to have to be doing now is making sure that the programs that are really going to help are really going to make a difference are properly funded and people have to remember to balance that money against the cost of these incidents as public. If the Department of Public Safety estimates over a hundred fifty million dollars a year these drunk drivers cost us because of insurance costs accidents serious accidents the cost of having them go in and out of the court system. These cases were being prosecuted before they were simply prosecuted and Miss as misdemeanors, and now it's felony. So I think when you when the numbers come out in the wash, we're going to be ahead. We're broadcasting midday today live from the Minnesota Public Radio Booth out here at the Minnesota State Fair. I'm Gary eichten and have enjoying this hour by Ramsey County attorney Susan Garrett Nur and Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar. They're here to talk about crime fighting crime prevention those of you again here in our audience at the State Fair Kate Smith wandering around with a microphone. Just raise your hand, and she'll get the mic to you. If you're listening on the radio. We invite you to give us a call at six five. One two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. Our toll-free line is 1-800-218-4243. Bi as I or the justice department says that overall crime rates are going back up again after basically going down for a decade. What's what's why is that what's happening? That is a concern in st. Paul. I think we still have one of the safest communities for its size in the United States, but we have to keep the pressure up. I think people have talked about things like the economy in Decline Less jobs available and other kinds of things that cause criminal activity that lead to criminal activity. We have a growing young population youthful population. And obviously a lot of crime is committed by young people and so it is a concern and what particularly worries me is that in the cons the budget problems that all kinds of levels of government are having that there's going to be letting up of the pressure on crime and I think that in the end that would cost us an enormous amount of money if we reduce police reduce brass. Cooter's reduce the court system because of money concerns and we're just going to pay for it down the line Amy Klobuchar when you look at some of the neighborhoods in Minneapolis and in some of our Suburban areas and Hennepin County once crime started to go down in the last decade you saw a corresponding increase in real estate values, you saw that the kids were going to school that the whole quality of life got better. So there's this relationship between crime and how people are doing in their lives. That's very clear and in Minneapolis last year. We still saw a reduction in crime, which really was against the trend in the rest of the country that you mentioned Gary were there was an increase this year. It's pretty much level. And so while we're starting to see some very scary things going on with drugs and guns that need to be focused on immediately. Are we still have relatively low crime rates compared to what we had back when Minneapolis was called Murder appleís and Gary. I think Amy makes a real good point about the value. Of keeping the streets safe and that is that you may see a modest increase in your taxes in the upcoming years to pay for Public Safety Services. But what you're doing is protecting your investment that your home is more valuable if your kids can play on the yard and in the streets and walk down to the playground and that kind of thing your home simply is going to be more valuable and so paying for Public Safety is a good investment to get some audience questions involved here Kate. Jacqueline is from Minneapolis. And she's got a question. Actually. I confess I'm curious about to how common is it for counties to have what female prosecutors this isn't the norm. You have two women up there. You're right. Well, actually I was thinking that the only downside of having two female county attorney's up here is we have to identify ourselves. It's Susan talking now and then switch to a me but it's a delight and it is not very common. I was first elected back in 1994. And when I started attending National District Attorneys Association meetings, I was very taken aback. Oh my gosh, that's right. This is a man's job. I forgot and we're real pleased. I think I can speak for Amy and myself that the Minnesota voters, you know, don't worry about gender and just pick the most qualified person we have about what is it five or seven something in that number out of 86 87 counties that have women county attorney's in Minnesota. And nationally. The numbers are even worse and when you get into big cities, Really small number? I think I told this story before that at the last National District Attorneys meeting we had or two years back in Spokane. I brought my husband and they had an event for spouses and the event was to go on a historic tour of the homes of Spokane followed by Chi and crumpets and he was the only man on the trip and but it was a very good thing in the end because he became a folk hero to many of these spouses that were on the event. So it's he did bring my daughter as well. So it's a it's an area where especially in some of the rural areas around the country men tend to be elected and we hope to see that change in the future. We have some callers on the line with questions for the county attorney's David. Go ahead, please. Oh, hello. I was calling in reference to the treatment. They don't seem to achieve results and it seems to be the case when people do something for the government. They don't necessarily have the two results because they get the money anyway, so I don't they try to revamp the treatment system so that they can get some results out of these programs that they have. Okay. Well, I think anyone that's dealt with an alcoholic before I know in my own experience with my dad sometimes people don't go through treatment. Just once I go through it a few times and one of the things that's happened with these drunk drivers is when they have sure of sir, very short sentences. You have people serving, you know, six months before this. Felony DWI four months for their 20th DWI. Well, they're not going to get a set treatment when they're there and if no one's monitoring them with a felony, even if they're out on the streets, you can have probation monitor mm. Make sure that there's you know your analysis you can check. Can you can work with drug addicts or alcoholics to make sure that they're not drinking and you don't have that kind of check when you're dealing with a misdemeanor. So that's one of the things that we hope that we get out of this law is better results when they do go to treatment. So the other thing to keep in mind is that no matter how many times it takes drunk driver to get through treatment to be successful in the end. No matter how many dollars are spent. You're still going to end up ahead of the game. I mean, I don't remember the exact figure but there's just an enormous bang for your buck when you talk about treatment versus not treating someone and having them continue to go through the criminal justice system and continue to commit crimes. So you do get a lot of value even though I can understand the frustration of people like the caller watching it take sometimes four five six seven times before it hits is the is the biggest problem people who are in fact chemically dependent or the average Joe has too many drinks. Night goes out driving. Well, this is a me the average Joe that goes drinking out a few times. Maybe I'll get one DWI what we're talking about. Here are people that have four or more DWIs. There was a guy who said he moved here from Colorado because they had a felony DWI law and he decided he is alcoholic but that he'd moved here so that he wouldn't have to go to prison as long a time if he got picked up and so that is a thought process that we're hoping to turn around with this law because some of these drunk drivers many of them don't have felonies on their record felonies a big deal. It means you can't vote. It means you're not going to get certain jobs and there's an incentive any of them have jobs. They don't want to have a felony. They don't want to go to prison that will be created with this law and they don't want to lose their right to carry the Firearms. I know that's right. It was a huge part of the debate em, they're a big part of the debate in Greater. Minnesota was the issue about whether if someone had 20 DWIs And they were convicted of a felony. Would that be fair to make it a felony because they would lose their right to have a firearm and ultimately the legislature decided with some persuasion that it was. In fact a good idea not to have people with 20 DWIs out there with guns. And so that law has now in place that it's a felony when you after you had for DWIs, we're broadcasting live today from the Minnesota State Fair our guests Hennepin County attorney. Amy Klobuchar Ramsey County attorney Susan Garrett Nur is here and we're here to talk about crime fighting crime prevention. Whatever questions you have on your mind those of you here in the audience Kate Smith over here with the black t-shirt is wandering around with the mic. So just get her attention and she'll get a microphone to you. Those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight Chris. You're next. Go ahead, please hi couple weeks ago. Crossing and a crosswalk I almost got hit by a driver went right through the stop sign turned right in front of me had to jump out of the way that driver proceeded down my street ran a red light and then parked. I called 9-1-1 nothing we can do nothing for you call crime prevention. Nothing we can do for you called my husband who is an attorney. He called the city attorney's office. We have bigger fish in the sea to take care of them that now if I had been pushing my two-year-old son in the stroller in front of me, he would be dead today. I tried to make a citizen's arrest and I got nowhere until I had to get my attorney husband involved. I'd like to know the streets and Minneapolis for Walkers are unsafe. Even when we are following the laws Crossing at stop signs waiting for the lights to cross the street people run red lights that go right through the stop signs. They drive recklessly. Like what are we going to do about this? That's a basic safety issue and that sounds like a crime to me. It's most likely not in my office. It's not a felony crime. Unless someone had been hurt but it is or the driver with drunk but it is a it is a misdemeanor crime to violate those kinds of traffic laws. Maybe after the show IQ can call back and I can give my name and I'll try to help you out with the city attorney's office. If you of course the police have to have the defendant in order to pursue that we have to have the name of the person that did that and again this gets back to the idea that I think back in the old days these driving violations whether people are drunk or just driving like maniacs they were just thought of well, I guess that's just the way people drive and more and more. We've come to realize that this is a huge public safety risk. We just had a case in the office last week with a juvenile who did it was kind of very similar to what the caller described went through a park driving a car. And in this case, I couldn't believe the irony because this is exactly what happened. In this case. He had his kids in front of him and this car swooped through the park and almost hit his kids. This was a juvenile case, but he came in and he gave a victim impact statement to the judge and there were some consequences there to that driver even though no one had been hurt and I think we need to start taking these cases. Seriously. The reason we had that case is that involved a juvenile and we handle all juvenile cases in both rent Susan and Ramsey and myself in Hennepin County, whether it be a small case or a bigger felony case she doesn't care to come. Well, I think that what it points out is that our streets need to be safe in all kinds of ways and that the focus of the criminal justice system in the last few years has been to work on quality of life crimes, like what happens with drivers what happens that you know, maybe doesn't rise to the level of the high-profile murder of the rape or things like that, but that we got to enforce all the laws. That's because they all make a difference in terms of how comfortable we are being in the community. Tom your question, please. We'll be sure I want to know what she's going to do about the Minneapolis Police Department and police brutality. I know in my situation coming out of the Basilica Block Party. I was severely beaten by the Minneapolis Police Department officers for absolutely doing nothing just not getting out of the way fast enough and I've had a bunch of friends that suffered the same abuse by the Minneapolis Police and I think there's a real problem and I want to know what she is going to do about it. First of all, do you agree? It's a real problem. Well, I do think that we've had some I think it's no secret to anyone that there's been some recent issues in the community highlighting that there's a lot of tension there in certain neighborhoods. I think that certain a lot of people in the community would say the police have been great helped us in our neighborhood crimes down. We like our police officers and other There's a lot of distrust and I know that's something that mayor Ryback and chief Olson in Minneapolis have made really their number one priority is to build that trust up again by more involvement with the community as they know that mayor Ryback is working on setting up a new civilian review board. So complaints like the one that you have made have a vehicle have a place to be brought to or people feel that there's some kind of a meaningful process that they can that they can go through from our offices perspective. We enforce the law down the line. We have a case in the office right now involving a police officer and and a charge of sexual assault involving a young woman that case is going through the court process and we are being very aggressive in pursuing that case. I think it's very important while we are partnership with the police is so important at all County attorneys offices in the end. We also have to enforce the law even if it involves a police. Officer so I'm very impressed by the work that the mayor is trying to do that. The chief is trying to do that really the community groups in the Jordan neighborhood and others are trying to do to keep that trust there because in the end if that trust breaks down, it's the people in the neighborhoods that are hurt the most if there's no police protection for them or they don't trust the people that are there protecting them. You're just not going to have the kind of protection you need. So I see hope in what's going on and I see I hope the caller will see that hope and pursue what's going on with that reporting process so he can find out if he wants to file any kind of a charge Susan Gardner. Do you get the sense that there is enough being done to make sure the the police operate on the up-and-up and when there is an incident of some sort that it is fairly investigated. Well, I've been a prosecutor in Ramsey County for now 18 years even saying that makes me feel old, but I do feel like I've got a lot of experience Instilling with the st. Paul police department and the community and I've always felt very fortunate that the st. Paul police department has such a good relationship with the community. It serves and really has the confidence of the community it serves and it really makes a difference in terms of the work as a prosecutor that I do whether or not we do enough. I mean you can always do more. I mean, I think that that very simply put communication needs to be constant and I know that g Finney and his predecessors of work hard on that. I mean you just need to be talking one-on-one with people about the issues involving the police. I think that I've always felt that st. Paul is really just a big small town and maybe that's a factor that people know each other and I think that that helps build confidence when something does occur, so we're a small Big Town well dicks on the line quick question dick before we break for news. Arrested for beating up the reporters and setting the cars on fire has there been any arrests of the citizens and then neighborhood it cost problem. This is Amy. I answering your question. The the investigation is continuing in that area. I know that reports have been filed police reports involving other reporters that were injured. We have filed one charge against someone who had a gun at the scene in the house where the search warrant was executed with that endangered children because the gun was there and when those cases come to us, we will bring those charges when they're come to us, but we don't have the cases in the office and we would also have to review them and make sure the evidence is there I always tell people it's like the Law and Order TV show the first half an hour people the police investigate the crime and then it comes to the prosecutor's office is so we don't get involved in that investigation stage. We review the evidence from the police brings them. It only took a half an hour each wouldn't that be great, then, you know people always ask me. Well then who are you on that Joe? And I used to always say well, I'm that old guy that sits on the couch right says no you can't do that. But now he's been replaced by a woman right? Well except now he's been replaced again. I mean with a man exactly. Oh, well, this is midday coming to you from the Minnesota State Fair. We're out here at the Minnesota Public Radio Booth near the corner of Judson and Nelson. And if you're out at the fair do make sure you stop by take a look at the goodies that are for sale and think we have drawings don't have a drawing to win a bet or something. So get in on that do stop by. We're going to take a break here for headlines. But those of you here in the audience Kate standing by with a microphone. So get her attention. If you have a question for our county attorney's those of you listening on the radio, give us a call at six five. One two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight our guests this our Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar and Ramsey County attorney. Susan Gartner. We'll continue our conversation right after this break programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening rural Minnesota communities online at blandin Foundation dot-org. It's word of mouth. Pass it on. It's Berta moth pass it on. It's her down south pass it on its third and Sprouts pass it on. It's Love by loads. Pass it on it screams and shouts pass it on. It's miles and Pilots pass it on. There's wrestling touts. Pass it on. It's plagued by doubts a radio guide to the Arts every Friday night at 6 and 11 and on the web at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org pass it on. All right. We're back here at the Minnesota State Fair. I'm Gary eichten. Midday coming to you from the fair. By the way while I think of it today. Of course, we're at our booth the Minnesota Public Radio Booth near the corner of Judson and Nelson tomorrow has been officially designated Minnesota Public Radio day at the fair not entirely sure that you get free Prado pops or anything like that if you're a member but we are going to do some special programming from the carousel Park which is up by the grandstand. So hope you can come by among other things tomorrow on. Midday. We're going to have to candidate debates at 11 o'clock. All the US Senate candidates are beginning together and noon then all the candidates for Governor will be here to take people's questions. So that should be interesting and we hope you'll be able to stop by today. We're at the booth. We're talking crime fighting crime prevention our guests. And the County Attorney Susan Gartner and Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar and lots of people with questions before we get back to the phones though. I do have a question about Amy Klobuchar you had a press conference this morning and I know Susan Karen are you been involved in this as well this whole issue of truancy how getting kids to go to school? It seems like a fairly parochial issue for a big-time County prosecutor to be involved with well, I think it's the best way I wouldn't call it pro quo because it's probably the number one way we can get kids out of crime and you know, we're not like a business. We don't like to see repeat customers. And when we look at the records of these kids that get in serious trouble one of the things that immediately jumps out at you is that they first get in trouble when they're missing school. It doesn't mean they don't have other things going on in their lives and hard family lives they do but when they start missing school and they get off that track, they really start getting in trouble with the law and one of the things that we did and I know Susan Has done wonderful work with this as well as we started working with all the superintendent's in our County in the Suburban areas in Minneapolis to come up with what works and we focused on one keeping attendance making sure these any parent knows you got to watch kids and they know if they're not being watched too early intervention when they have a number of unexcused absences of schools going in there meeting with them meeting with the parents signing contract about what they want to do differently in three. If it does come to the courthouse how to make sure that that process moves quickly. So today we announce some good results countywide particularly in Minneapolis three years ago, when we started this less than 50% of the kids were there 95% of the time and now we're up to two-thirds in the elementary school level where it's so critical and I know Susan can talk about some of the work she's been doing this area. We saw a big jump up to 77 percent of the kids there a 95% of the time 13 percent increase over three years ago, and that is Patterns are set if those kids the superintendent Minneapolis Carol Johnson talked about this morning. If those kids by the age of nine aren't into that pattern of going to school everyday aren't reading by third grade. Then it's going to be very difficult to get them back on that track and later year. So that's been a major focus in both of our counties is to keep those young people in school and while it was great results today and encouraging there's still a lot more work to be done. Susan Gardner Gary. I love the way you said that something about big-time county attorney's. Why would you worry about keeping kids in school? And that's exactly why I think these programs work we started our truancy Intervention Program back in 1995 and literally thousands of kids have gone through it and dramatically improved attendance and I think it is in part because it sends a strong message. If you get a letter from the county attorney saying we're paying attention and your kid has got to be in school and these are the consequences if they're not I think people do pay attention. I think it sends a powerful. A phone message to a child to know that the same county attorney's office. That's Prosecuting the drive-by shooting down the street cares that he's been skipping school or she's been skipping school. So I think that it's a good message to send that education really matters and it's important to note. It's not a crime truancies not a crime a kid isn't going to go to prison. So if you see a kid out there and you know that they should be in school. If you know their parents you should call their parents if you know the school, you should call the school in the end. You can even call the police and a Minneapolis. I'll take this child to the truancy Curfew Center. That's run by the Urban League. They won't get a criminal record. But someone is going to be watching over them and know they're gone well and I'll keep track of them. And I think that's a real important thing to remember about this issue and Amy just said that the child is not going to go to prison if they're not in school, but one of the problems is if they're not in school today, the chances are a lot higher that they're going to be in prison down the line 71% of our nation's prison population. Never High School Educational failure is a huge predictor of social problems down the line. So there might be not a immediate consequence but the long-term consequences for all of us are great. If our kids aren't in school and Gary. I remember I was on this topic on this on this show one other time in someone actually called in and said, you know this just sounds so Draconian to say that you're going to do something to a kid. I loved taking my kid out. I take her to museums. I take her to concerts and I finally said, you know, let's get real. These kids are not at Orchestra Hall. They are not at the Guthrie Theater when this is happening. They're out on the street corners are victims of crime. They're getting pregnant. This is what's happening. And as a community, we can't turn our backs on these kids. We have to have higher expectations for them Kate Smith. You have a question or audience member with a question, right? Yes. Carol is from st. Paul. You know Susan and Amy, I've been pondering this for a couple weeks now. So you're going to be victimized for a second. Can you tell me what would be the difference between a riot Amelie a demonstration? And what was that other one that I had an incident? I'm chaining off of an article in the popular. Press just this Monday or Tuesday were there was a perspective on the part of the writer that there was a reluctance to call what went on in North Minneapolis a riot? I did see that article and boy, I don't have any easy answers and I think that if you want to look at it in a positive way, I think that thing to do is understand the Power of Words And if maybe people go a little too far in One Direction in terms of saying the right thing, maybe that's not the worst thing. I mean the fact is that words like Riot carrying an enormous connotation and for some people it's a racist term and so it's very very dicey. I wouldn't begin to tell give you definitions and I certainly wouldn't begin to tell the popular press how to characterize I think that sort of from a boring legal response which we can always resort to with difficult questions. The answer there is a rut. There are laws that says of the about rioting and that those kinds of things can be illegal depending on what the conduct is. But as I've said before an answer to another question the police are still investigating And what went on there and we have not had any cases except the one I mentioned that have come into our office. We in my experience, there's riots malaise and political conventions and it's hard to distinguish. What about that wedding reception up in North Minneapolis where they were throwing Jello or something Amy, I could take I don't know what the laws are. I wasn't aware of that but I just hope it didn't occur at any of my relatives homes. But anyway, the again these are that would not be the kind of case that we usually see in our office. I don't think we've had Jello as a dangerous weapon that I've seen but clearly I think what you're getting at too, and I did not read this article, but the the issue of words as Susan mentioned is very important to some people that's one of the things in our jobs is that were very careful and we talk to victims of crime. We talked to people on the community to carefully explain using the law whether something is a Or not and there can be things that happen to people that are really bad in their lives and babies can die and sometimes it's a crime and sometimes it's a tragic accident. And so it's very important in our line of business that we use those words carefully. So I wish we could answer your question better. But I hope we gave you some insight to go back to the phone's Lydia's on the line or the question for the county attorney's Lydia. Hi. Yes, I guess I'm sort of continuing some of this dialogue that's been going in that is I kind of confused about gun possession laws because my understanding is you are allowed to have a legally registered handgun in your home and it makes no sense to me that the shooting incident on the North side that predicated this up or that the grandmother would be charged with reckless endangerment when in fact it was the police who shot this eleven year old boy, I should say I'm white but I would think that are African American citizens are allowed to have a legally registered handgun. Now home like anybody else. So I would like you to address this bizarre contradiction that the police shoot first without thinking when there's lots of people around but it's the grandma this child who has been charged with the crime anybody who wonders why was this incident took place at people got kicked off and gotten the streets. Here's one reason why these kinds of contradictions before we get to the issue of the woman possessing a handgun. Is it fair to characterize what happened last week as a case of the police shooting first and thinking later? Well, this is Susan and I'm going to jump in here because it's very difficult for county attorney's to talk about cases that are ongoing in their jurisdictions. And so I'm not going to comment on the specifics of this case, but one thing that the caller should understand is that under the law. Yes, you can lawfully possess a weapon in your home. One of our major concerns is county attorney's is not People lawfully possessing those guns but felons who possess those guns illegally and we put a lot of effort into that kind of thing taking guns out of the hands of people who have committed crimes and therefore are more dangerous. If a child is in the house parents certainly have a responsibility to keep that lawfully possessed gun out of the hands of children. I mean, unfortunately lots of kids die every year from accidental shootings because guns were carelessly left around and so the law does protect children by making it a crime to say keep a loaded weapon within easy access of a child. So that's where the endangerment can come in and while I can't comment on this specific case, I can say that we have prosecuted white people for endangering children's lives by having loaded guns in homes. We had one unfortunate case before my time involving someone who was prosecuted when their child picked up the gun and shot themselves. So these cases while rare are out there and we're going to continue to diligently enforce these gun laws. That's been one of the good things that's been going on in the last few years is taking seriously gun violations. It's really one of the best tools that we can use to keep our streets safe. There's a mandatory minimum in Minnesota that Susan was talking about with felons in possession of guns five-year mandatory minimum that we've made as one of our number one priorities to enforce those laws to make sure that we do everything we can to get guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them in general are the police careful enough in the distance when they discharged their firearms or do they tend to blast away sometimes when they shouldn't well fortunately in st. Paul and Ramsey County, we haven't had very many police shooting citizens and when those things happen, they are carefully reviewed by the criminal justice system. We routinely take Beings into a grand jury citizens of the county to take a look at whether or not the use of force was appropriate and I and so I think there are very significant protections and that's not something that we are required to do by law. That's something that we think is important for the community that when the police shoot someone and someone is killed that that case is reviewed by citizens out in the community to determine whether or not criminal charges should be brought gate to another question from the audience. Yes. Paul is up from Walnut Grove at the State Fair. Thank you. Just a comment being from Walnut Grove to small town in southwest Minnesota and I know rural issues are a little different obviously than Urban issues and a case like this but in terms of crime, but we do have it but it strikes me just listening to you and the kind of programs you trying to Institute in the cities that anonymity is something that we do not have In in small town Minnesota and it seems to work extremely well in terms of keeping crime from happening because people are out there even trying to help, you know, whoever's involved in some way or at least they're aware of them and they stay stay there distance or they know who to talk to. So we live in a fishbowl. This is Amy and I think what's interesting about what you just said is that exact model is what we've been trying to emulate with some of the work we've been doing with Community prosecution where you have a lawyer assigned not just to do auto theft cases in the whole County with 45 municipalities, but to a certain area we have one juvenile Community prosecutor now for Bloomington, we have another for Brooklyn Park. We have someone for each Precinct in Minneapolis for property crimes. And what happens is they get to know that Community. They may not know everyone like you would know in a Walnut Grove, but they know the principles at the school. They know some of the kids they know some of the parents. They get to know the police. So there's that kind of relationship and responsibility that really builds for better trust with the community. And that's what the idea of community policing is is to try to assign officers to certain areas and it's really bringing back that small town idea and trying to put that idea into a big city. So thank you for bringing that up. And also I know there's been some more crime. I mean, there's been some issues out in Greater Minnesota that are need to be addressed as well. And we're starting to see some of the problems that we see in the city. And so anything that we can do to help in that area. We're ready to do it just this Dad that it's it's the fact that there's no there's no anonymity out there and and that seems to be a deterrent I said before that st. Paul is really just a big small town it obviously. I'm not talking about the lack of anonymity at the level you're talking about in Walnut Grove, but what I have seen and as I said Before I've been doing this now for 18 years is the biggest change in being a prosecutor 18 years ago and being a prosecutor now is the community support. I mean when we're doing our work 18 years ago there weren't the block clubs there weren't the community groups. There wasn't the kind of feeling that we're all in here this together that we get. Now the neighborhood groups the neighborhood activists the community groups. The black clubs are making a huge difference by being involved in trying to get rid of some of the anonymity that we see in our neighborhoods and it's critical to Public Safety. Unfortunately. It's one of the first things to go though, when we have these budget crises that I was talking about before is programs like Community prosecution with Jamie has done very successfully and we've been doing for years is the first thing to get the axe because it isn't seen as important. Let me change subjects if I made you do you folks get involved in Enron type cases. Can we expect you know? Cheyenne of Industry to be hauled off to the hoosegow with Susan Garrett Nur Amy Klobuchar kind of pushing pushing the guy down the street. I mean that perp walk like they've actually had someone call us the other day someone from the media not from NPR and say are you going to do a perp walk person? Because I've been watching these Enron things and they've been watching too much TV. No, no, we don't do that. But the what we are seeing is a more and more white collar cases, and I've been saying this for about a year and then I was this is before Enron. I was pleased to see there was a big story in the front page of the New York Times saying White Collar cases are on the rise. Some of this is the economy some of this as I mentioned to Gary earlier because of Enron a lot of small businesses started auditing their books this year and doing Special audits new Audits and guess what they found they were getting embezzled by some of their employees. So we've actually had a number of cases that came out of that we also because the US attorney's office FBI is spending time on terrorism and those kinds of cases. Seeing now more at the local level that might have been Federal in the past. And so we've really beefed up. That's the one area that we've beefed up in our office. We've changed some resources around to make sure we can respond to these white collar cases. They're incredibly more resource intensive. You got to look at documents. You're not talking about a crowbar you're talking about a computer. And so what we were ready to do that and law enforcement needs to get a sophisticated as the crooks that are committing these crimes. It's a race issue as well. If we don't go after these crimes if we don't go after a judge that steals $400,000 from a mentally retarded woman or go after some Northwest Airlines Pilots that steel over a million dollars by claiming they live in a post office box in Florida instead of a million-dollar house in the Twin Cities, and these are two cases that you know have been in our office if we don't do that. How can we prosecute an African-American or anyone of any race for Street crime? And so I think that you need to have that to have Justice to make sure that you're going after these white collar cases. Just like you go after the street crime Susan Gardener. Well, certainly we have an involvement in white collar crime as Amy said as the US attorney's get more and more involved in terrorism and those issues more and more that is going to fall on our plate a related issue is cybercrime something we're very very concerned about the use of computers by Crooks is is pretty daunting as a public safety issue because it's very complex. The cases are very difficult, but it is a brand-new tool for Crooks to embezzle to steal to do all kinds of things. And so it's something that we're having to keep up on the ask you another question one that I've always wanted to ask somebody who knows the answer. When do you folks convene a grand jury as opposed as bringing charges against people. What's the what's the point of a grand jury? Well, the grand jury is a very important part of the Criminal Justice System the most common time we convene a grand jury as well. There's been a murder. If someone commits a homicide of murder. We cannot charge them with first-degree murder, the top-of-the-line murder charge without a grand jury process without an indictment from a grand jury. And so when we're leveling the most serious charge possible in our Criminal Justice System, we have to have citizens of the county tell us that the evidence is there that we should go forward another way. We use grand juries very frequently is if we're not quite sure whether or not the evidence would be sufficient to go forward with the case what the community sentiment is on a case if it's kind of a difficult one and so they're an important policy if you will of the community that we can take because when we do have enormous power and we take that power very seriously and try to exercise it very judiciously, you know, we don't want to file charges if we don't think that the the evidence is sufficient and Times we need citizens to tell us if we got what we need. One of the most helpful ways. We use a grand jury in the last few years was a case. Where was a 23 year old murder where a man had hired someone to burn down the building and two firefighters were killed and there was never enough evidence. So we brought that case to the grand jury and used it to get these witnesses that had heard things 23 years ago that they had hired tried to hire them to burn down the building to and were able to get an effective amount of evidence that we could then go through use to indict and ultimately the man plead guilty to that 23 year old murder. And so that would be an example not of when we're required to do it as Suzanne pointed out. But the second time we use it when for some reason we needed for investigation or perhaps a she mentioned four cases which are which are we need that to get that kind of input from the citizenry and Gary another time. We use grand juries in Ramsey County is when we have election law cases, I think one thing that maybe isn't commonly known as so much responsibility. The county attorney's have to keep the playing field level to keep people following the law in that rough-and-tumble world of politics and a lot of times we get candidates screaming at each other you violated the law you violated the law and it's in our laps then and a lot of times we take those cases to a grand jury to see what they think we should do with so remember don't vote twice in this election. You may be seen we've only got about 30 seconds left if somebody wants to be the next Amy Klobuchar Susan Garrett and I want to be a county attorney. What what's the first thing they should do. Well, you have to put up about 3,000 lines lines and go to 85 pancake breakfast is in 29 parade. So if anyone's interested, that's the first thing you don't know. I think that the the challenge of this job and the great part about this job is the impact it can have on people's everyday lives. You're right out there in the front line working with families working with people and I think that interest to have that kind of interest in changing policies important well, I think that did the most for me in terms of getting into this job. It was spending 10 years in the trenches trying cases rapes robberies burglaries, really working directly with victims and their pain and getting Justice for them. And I think that that really helped prepare me for what I'm doing. We're out of time. Thanks so much for coming by. Well, I was great to be here and I love the man on the stick a guy on stilts out there and he has a big sign and it says man on a stick come out to the fair. You'll see it Hennepin County attorney Amy Klobuchar Ramsey County attorney Susan guarantor here for the first hour of midday.

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