Uncovering corruption 

                      A little background: In August, a Minneapolis cop was shot and killed by
                      an older black woman, and the other cops on the scene then shot and
                      killed her. Not long after that, a 19 year old black kid was shot by
                      Minneapolis cops. He wasn't shot, but it caused a real big stir here.

                      The week after that, an 11 year old boy, an innocent bystander, was shot
                      in the arm by police in a botched drug bust in North Minneapolis. North
                      Minneapolis has a heavy concentration of black residents, and they went nuts.
                      A riot broke out, and news crews were assaulted. The mob damaged camera crew vans,
                      and all hell broke loose. I've been interviewed by local TV about this whole thing.
                      There's more, this is just the bare bones, but it all happened in August.

                      The problems have been going on for a long, long time, and a federal mediator has stepped in.
                      She has been in the Department of Justice for more than 30 years, so she's not one of Ashcroft's flunkies.
                      She will be back on Friday to continue. She can't force federal mediation, though -- the mayor and city
                      council have to agree, and they don't seem to want it.  If they turn down mediation, the scene here will
                      probably start to get ugly again.

                      Since then, I've had people coming forward asking me to help tell their stories,
                      and this is the latest one (BTW, since there are photos being  run with this article,
                      I didn't mention in the text that this is happening to a black family here).

                      If people knew what really happens here, Minneapolis would lose its progressive
                      image overnight. This is one of the most overtly racially prejudiced cities in the country,
                      and there are lots of horrifying stories coming out of here.


                      She says she moved to Minneapolis from Cincinnati for her children's
                      survival. She brought her family to Minneapolis to start a business, get
                      a better education for her children, and to get away from a brutal police force.

                      Charon Dow, a single mother of five, says, "The whole point of me moving my kids
                      from Cincinnati was because I heard this was a place where you have better
                      opportunities for a single parent, and for starting a business, and education is a lot
                      better here. Little did we know all this was going to happen."

                      "All this" was a nightmare that started on February 15th of this year,
                      and has no end in sight. Ms Dow's family, and especially her eight year
                      old son Mallik, will never be the same.

                      On that evening in February, Dow says, "We had just finished eating
                      dinner. My daughter (Aeriel's) friend was here. After we watched a movie,
                      at about 6:30, they walked Aeriel's friend to the bus stop. As my son
                      (Mallik) was crossing the street to the bus stop, he was struck  by a
                      vehicle. They said it came out of nowhere. They stated-they being the
                      other four children who were there-that the streets were clear and well
                      lighted because it was still daylight.

                      "The truck caught him by both legs, and it broke his right lower leg..."

                      Dow's daughter, Aeriel, continues: "A car just came from out of
                      nowhere. He was speeding. So he hit (Mallik), but he kept on going; he didn't
                      stop. So everyone else had to flag him down, like cars that were behind
                      him that (had seen) what happened. They had to flag him down, beep him
                      down, stuff like that to get him to pull over and stop.

                      "So I pulled him (Mallik) out the street because there was more cars
                      coming, no one was bothering to stop it. Then when the police came, they
                      were like, 'Why did you move him out of the street?'

                      Aeriel explained to the officer that there was traffic coming from both
                      ways, and that it was dangerous for Mallik to be laying out in traffic.
                      Aeriel says, "They told me I shouldn't have done that."

                      "Then I called my mom. A lady that saw what had happened let me use her
                      cell phone while she went to get the man (the hit and run driver)
                      because he was still going...When my mom came, the police told the man to
                      leave when he came back to the scene. But he didn't leave. He went to
                      bring his car, saying that he did stop right away."

                      Charon Dow says that while paramedics were splinting Mallik's leg, the
                      police were talking to the driver and they were "catering to this guy.
                      They were standing there, like to them, everything's fine. They weren't
                      with my child, seeing if he was okay.

                      "They didn't cite the driver. I went over and asked who it was that hit
                      my child. Those police officers ignored me. I asked three times; they
                      ignored me. My daughter was the one who told me who the driver was."

                      Dow says she then approached the driver and asked for his license. "The
                      police officer told me not to ask him that...He told me that if I asked
                      one more time he was going to take me to jail." At that time, Ms Dow
                      says that the officer took her by the arm and led her away from the
                      driver of the truck. "He told me 'If you continue to act like that, we won't
                      give you your information.'

                      "I snatched away from the officer and went over to John Brodin (the hit
                      and run driver), and asked him again to see his license. He was laughing,
                      and standing there slouched over, not able to hold himself up.  His eyes were
                      glassy; they were red. He had the appearance of a person under the influence.
                      Due to my medical assistant training, that's what it looked like to me.

                      "By this time, he's (the driver) saying that it didn't matter, he would show me
                      his information. He was smirking, like it was a joke to him. So I started to look
                      at his license, and a police officer comes over, snatches it out of my hand,
                      gives it back to him and tells him that he could leave.

                      "When I told the officers that I wanted a blood alcohol test done on
                      this man, they told me I did not have the right to ask that."

                      It took about two weeks for Charon Dow to learn that John Brodin was an
                      off duty Minneapolis police officer. And Aeriel Dow says she recognized
                      the officers on duty. "They were in squad car 430. They come visit my
                      school sometimes and talk to my class."

                      In the meantime, Mallik was confined to a hospital bed, on a morphine
                      drip. His injury was so severe, Dow says, that it was days before the
                      swelling in his fractured leg had gone down enough for the injury to be
                      treated and for Mallik to be fitted with a cast. When he was released,
                      he was given a prescription for Tylenol with codeine, which raised concerns
                      with Ms. Dow that Mallik ran the risk of addiction to those pain medications.

                      While Mallik was lying in a hospital bed, his eighth birthday passed.

                      At the scene of the incident, the police had given Dow a card with some
                      information they had written. "They gave me false numbers. As soon as I
                      came home from the hospital when my son was admitted, I tried to track
                      down a police report as soon as possible, so they couldn't say that it got lost.
                      The number the officer had given me was fake; when I called to try to get the
                      report, I was told that that number didn't exist. I was given a six digit number,
                      but their reports only went up to five digits."

                      Dow was eventually given the correct number from a sympathetic officer
                      who looked it up for her. But, Dow says, the information contained in
                      the report was not correct. Among the inaccuracies, she says, was a
                      statement that Brodin had stopped his Chevy S-10 truck immediately.

                      It did not take long after that for the Dow family's problems to get even worse..

                      Dow says "In March, Children's Protective Services (CPS) initiated an
                      investigation on my household without acknowledging it to me. They alleged
                      that I abused one of my children, Ezra. They picked Ezra up, with a sheriff's escort,
                      from school, and nobody contacted me. I went to the daycare provider to pick
                      my babies up, and that's when I found out they took him.

                      "CPS alleged I abused Ezra because there was an incident where he had chipped
                      his tooth." Despite letters and statements from Dow's home care worker and others,
                      including Ezra's psychologist, a minister and a pastor affirming that the injury was not
                      inflicted by Charon Dow, Ezra was still taken from his home and placed in foster care.
                      Dow says she has been allowed to see Ezra only three times since he was removed
                      from his home.

                      "We went to court in July, then they (CPS) mentioned they intended to take Mallik, also."
                      Dow said she was told by a CPS worker that they had "concerns" about Mallik's "emotional"
                      welfare, but said he could not talk to her about it. "I went with my mother over to CPS",
                      where Dow says she was told that there was no such action being contemplated.

                      Dow has retained an attorney and filed a notice with the city of
                      Minneapolis on July 16th that she intended to file a suit. As of the date
                      this article was written, there has been no official response from the
                      city.  When asked directly about this situation, Minneapolis Mayor R.T.
                      Rybak promised to take a personal interest in getting it resolved.

                      Charon Dow says, "I'll never forget; it was squad 430. I still see
                      them; they have not been pulled from the street. They have not been
                      disciplined. I see them every day. For a while, I would see them on this
                      street, 7:30 every morning. My neighbors called me one night at one in the
                      morning-they were sitting out in front of my house.

                      "And this incident has prevented Mallik from being able to start
                      playing soccer like he really wanted to. And he wakes up in the middle of the
                      night, screaming. I have had to walk into his closet, so he can see
                      there is no one in there. He wakes up thinking that police officer who ran
                      him over is in there, and is going to get him."

                      Isaac Peterson is a longtime  bartcop.com  contributor.
                      He can be reached at  isaac3rd@attbi.com

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