Questions in the death of Terrance Franklin

Questions in the death of Terrance Franklin

The following is an article from the plaintiffs investigator R. Steven Rogers regarding the facts in the death of Terrance Franklin. Steve worked a civil suit on behalf of the family with Attorney Mike Padden author of The Minneapolis Police Department:  Blue Code of Silence: The True Story of the Terrance Franklin Murder

County attorney Mike Freeman has written to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and has formerly requested their involvement in a new independent investigation.

 

Kowala Media has acquired the permission of the author in this articles publication.

I was recently featured in the Time magazine article ‘“Minneapolis Police Were Cleared in the 2013 Killing of Terrance Franklin. A Video Complicates the Story-and Now the Case May be Reopened”.  This feature highlights the work of Attorney Mike Padden and myself on the civil suit that Mr. Padden filed on behalf of the Franklin family after the death of their son, Terrance Franklin, at the hands of the Minneapolis Police on May 10, 2013.

In the days following the publication by Time of the article and documentary video, several questions have arisen in my mind based on my knowledge of the case.

The Time article was the first public mention of the letter by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension requesting an independent examination of the case. Freeman stated that “A key piece of evidence brought by the Plaintiffs in the civil suit is a recording by Jimmy Gaines.” This is correct to a degree, as the Minneapolis Police appear to have had the video within a week of the shooting. Our team did, however, obtain the full quality original from Mr. Gaines and submitted that into evidence later.

Notably, the file from the Minneapolis Police we received in the discovery process presumably was downloaded from YouTube, as the police never contacted Mr. Gaines who took the video, the file size matches the known compression ratio that is used when uploading to YouTube, and it was not known to be anywhere else at that time. (I compared the file obtained from the Minneapolis Police to the file gathered by our team from Mr. Gaines’ device that originally recorded it and the file size was about 7% of the original.)

Freeman also mentions in his letter that Mr. Gaines posted the video on YouTube and that the MPD never interviewed him about the video. When he became aware of this is unknown but is certainly relevant.

Freeman also told Minneapolis Public Radio that they had reviewed new evidence “that was not available to us at the time we took the case to the Grand Jury.” This statement is compelling to me and raises some serious questions.

The only way I can see that it is possible, with the information available, that the video was not available to the Grand Jury  is if one or more of the following is true :

1 : The MPD did not provide it to Freeman with the other evidence when Freeman decided to convene the Grand Jury. It is a reasonable assumption that the MPD would turn over all evidence to the County Attorney’s office when the decision to convene a Grand Jury was reached. I am not sure on the requirements here, but it’s possible there are some; or,

2 : For some reason due diligence was not done by the County Attorney’s office in looking at what evidence to provide the Grand Jury; or,

3 : The County Attorney’s office for some reason chose not to include the video in the evidence given to the Grand Jury (noting, of course, that they do have complete discretion as to what evidence is given to the Grand Jury.)

Of the first two, this would also raise the question if this case was on the radar at the County Attorney’s office at the time of the press conference on May 30, 2013. It certainly was on the radar at the MPD, as The Chief of Police issued this statement to WCCO that day (which was read aloud at the press conference), “If you have video of events from the scene, I request that you turn it over to me as it is evidence in an active investigation.”  At that press conference, Mr. Padden even remarked that, for all he knew, the MPD may have enhanced the sound already.

Here’s the timeline:

Now, as Mr. Gaines was never contacted by the County Attorney to testify before the Grand Jury, we know the video could not have been used by the Grand Jury, as Mr. Gaines would have needed to testify to lay foundation, which in non-lawyerese means they could not use it without him attesting that he took the video, and where and when it was taken.

While many media outlets are reporting that this is new evidence, I believe the information presented here in this article shows that it is not. Ironically, Fred Bruno, an attorney for Lucas Peterson came out today in a statement saying “The Gaines video was well known to and vetted by Freeman’s office long before the Grand Jury ruled in September 2013,” and “There is no new evidence, only newly procured opinions and shifting politics.”

The problem I have with this is no evidence was presented to support this statement, and at no time during this case, nor in my searches after for this article and other media interviews, have I found a single indicator that Mr. Freeman was aware of or in possession of this key piece of evidence.

Working backwards on the timeline, as we know the Grand Jury was not aware of this recording, we must ask where the system failed. Clearly it failed not only Terrance Franklin, but all of us.

Activists to protest Walz’ peacetime emergency orders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 14, 2020 Contact: Michele Even Phone: 952-277-9114 Email: mnfreedom2018@gmail.com Liberate Minnesota - Reopen Our Lives Credit River Twp, Minn. – Gov. Tim Walz issued an Executive Order on March 13, 2020 declaring a Peacetime Emergency that he just extended into the middle of May. This has effectively put the entire populace in the state on hold that is now destroying our economy and people’s homes along with it.

 

“This overreaction by the governor has gone on long enough and we aren’t going to take it anymore,” Liberate Minnesota organizer, Michele Even, said in a statement. She continued, “All jobs are essential. People need to support themselves and their families. The governor and these legislators need to stop hurting us. We need someone to care about us. Give us our life back!”

 

Liberate Minnesota is seeking to send a message to the governor and legislators by exercising their 1st amendment right to peacefully assemble and use their free speech. “People’s lives are already in turmoil and the cure is worse than the disease at this point,” Michele said. “People are fed up with this lock down and want to get back to their jobs to support themselves and their families. This ‘Stay Home’ order has destroyed homes. Enough is enough!” she concluded. Liberate Minnesota will be holding a 1st Amendment peaceful assembly at the Governor's mansion on April 17, 2020 from 12:00 - 3:00 pm to send a strong message that people have had enough and they’re not going to take it anymore. It’s time to Liberate Minnesota now.

 

Waffle House Closes 365 Locations in U.S. – Why that matters.

Waffle house has just closed 365 restaurant locations across the U.S. due to the SARS-CoV-2 (coronovirus, COVID-19) pandemic that is sweeping the world. The breakfast-chain announced the news Tuesday via their facebook page.

Why is that a bad thing?

"If you get there and the Waffle House is closed? That's really bad..." Says Craig Fugate, the former head of FEMA.  The Waffle House Index is an informal metric measurment named after the Waffle House restaurant chain and is used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the effect of a storm or emergency and the likely scale of assistance required for the disaster recovery.

The Measure is based on the reputation of Waffle House for having a great disaster preparedness and staying open during extreme weather, or reopening quickly afterwards.

What are the levels in the Waffle House Index?

Wikipedia states The index has three levels, based on the extent of operations and service at the restaurant following a storm:

  • GREEN: full menu – restaurant has power and damage is limited or no damage at all.
  • YELLOW: limited menu – no power or only power from a generator, or food supplies may be low.
  • RED: the restaurant is closed – indicating severe damage or severe flooding.

The term was coined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in May 2011, following the 2011 Joplin tornado, during which the two Waffle House restaurants in Joplin remained open.

The measure is based on the reputation of the restaurant chain Waffle House for staying open during extreme weather and for reopening quickly, albeit sometimes with a limited menu, after very severe weather events such as tornadoes or hurricanes; for example, assembling and training "Waffle House jump teams" to facilitate fast reopening after disasters. Waffle House, along with other chains (such as Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowe's) which do a significant proportion of their business in the southern US where there is a frequent risk of hurricanes, have good risk management and disaster preparedness. Because of this, and the fact that a cut-down menu is prepared for times when there is no power or limited supplies, the Waffle House Index rarely reaches the red level.

The Waffle House Index sits alongside more formal measures of wind, rainfall, and other weather information, such as the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale, which are used to indicate the intensity of a storm.

In a world of uncertainty and with a rapidly expanding pandemic this is just one more statistic to add to the pile, which is sure to grow even larger.

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