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Friday, October 05, 2007

Stanek Out

Mitch Berg at Whine in the Dark:

Stanek Out

MDE reports that Rich Stanek isn’t going to run for Jim Ramstad’s 3rd CD seat.

Stanek, the Henco sheriff, would have made a great congressional representative - but would have had to spend a lot of time and effort fighting off recycled palaver over his past racist remarks and actions (for which he’s worked harder than anyone I know if in the public eye to atone, and for which even the crypto-maoist City Pages has (grudgingly) declared him rehabilitated - not that any of that matters to the local media).

He leaves behind a decent field of solid conservatives.

More - much, much more - on this race over the next 11 months.

Don't expect to read new, or insider information on Mitch Berg's site. You'd want to go to Michael Brodkorb or Gary Miller for more of that.

Berg doesn't acknowledge what the "racist remarks and actions" were. He was sued 3 times for police brutality. Beating up black motorists while in uniform is much worse than "racist remarks." Maybe this record doesn't trouble him, but it troubles me.

Anyone familiar with police brutality in the Minneapolis police department will tell you different. Records detailing Stanek's history of brutal and racist behavior may have been erased from Minneapolis City Hall, but fortunately the courts and the Black community have a long memory.

In 1992, Black motorist Anthony Freeman was involved in a traffic accident with Stanek after allegedly running a red light. Freeman said that after the accident Stanek broke his window, dragged him out of his car, yelled racial epithets and beat him in the middle of the street.

Under oath, Stanek admitted to using the word "nigger" in the presence of his fellow officers on other occasions and to telling racist jokes. In denying Freeman's account, Stanek claimed that he wasn't even conscious that Freeman was a Black man until hours after the incident, when he had to fill out insurance forms. The City settled the case out of court.

A year after the incident with Freeman, Stanek was one of four officers named in another police brutality suit filed by Ronald Kennerly. In that case, Kennerly said that officers beat him, threatened him, and placed him under arrest without probable cause. A female neighbor who tried to intervene was beaten with a flashlight and also placed under arrest, according to the complaint.

Again, the City settled.

In 1996, Jerold Wahlin filed a suit against the City and a local club, claiming that Stanek, who was moonlighting as security, struck him twice in the head with a flashlight and smashed his head into the club floor a number of times. Stanek admitted to using the flashlight, but said he only did so to stop Wahlin from attacking an off-duty Drug Enforcement agent who was also working security. The City decided to settle this case as well. All tolled, allegations of brutality against Stanek have cost the City over $50,000.

These cases have done nothing to diminish Stanek's career prospects in the department, however. Stanek has the distinction of being the youngest person to hold the ranks of lieutenant, captain, and inspector in department history.

Source: Star Minneapolis cop to lead state Public Safety
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 3/5/2003