Ramblings of Anna Pratt, Twin Cities journalist

My top 10 stories from 2008

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Here’s a rundown of my “personal bests” in 2008, originally published in the Minnesota Independent. This list doesn’t include some of the stories that received the most hits or comments; I selected these 10 because of the legwork, source cultivation and research that I did.

Cataloguing the RNC’s journalist detainees

By Anna Pratt 9/10/08 8:24 AM

Of the 800-plus people who were arrested or detained in conjunction with RNC protests, a good chunk of them — 43, by our count — were members of the news media. Media representatives in town to cover the events, from both big and small presses, were slapped with citations and pending charges ranging in severity, including unlawful assembly, obstructing the legal process, misdemeanor interference with a peace officer and felony to riot plus other riot pretenses. Many others who weren’t arrested or detained endured pepper-spray and other arms used for crowd-control. Here’s our list of journalists who were detained or arrested. If anyone’s missing, please add them in comments.

Truth-seeking: Historic Liberia hearings in St. Paul reveal horrors

By Anna Pratt 6/19/08 10:07 AM

Describing the events that unfolded in July 1990 still brings tears to the eyes of Liberian native Jane Allison Samukai. After civil war broke out in her homeland, rebel soldiers attacked her home. Those who didn’t heed the soldiers’ demands were shot. “I witnessed my neighbor’s killing and torture,” Samukai said, wiping her eyes. “People […]

Report: State has hired fewer minorities in Pawlenty era

By Anna Pratt 8/11/08 10:11 AM

Minnesota state agencies barely employ more minorities now than they did in 1997 and a number of departments are showing a decline despite the steady growth of populations of color statewide, according to a new report by the Minnesota State Affirmative Action Association (MSAAA).
Further, it appears that the bulk of that slippage has occurred […]

MPD cop lawsuits: Will bad info in a police personnel file cost the city still more $$?

By Anna Pratt 8/8/08 4:14 PM

While the discrimination lawsuit filed against the city of Minneapolis and Police Chief Timothy Dolan by five black MPD officers has received quite a bit of attention lately [1] [2] [3], a separate but related piece of litigation filed by one of the officers involved in that suit is wending its way through the […]

Does Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office discriminate against minorities for promotions?

By Anna Pratt 8/1/08 1:22 PM

Recently an investigation by the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights found probable cause that the City Attorney’s screening process for internally promoting attorneys has a disparate impact on minorities and that the Human Resources Department may have “aided and abetted” that practice. The latter relates to the fact that HR largely designed an oral exam […]

New Sanctuary Movement emerging among churches near and far

By Anna Pratt 7/17/08 11:30 AM

In the wake of the May immigration raid of a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville was immediately reborn as an emergency shelter for detainees’ families who wanted to be close to their loved ones or were afraid to go home. Children whose parents had been arrested also received help […]

Case not entirely resolved, but suspended Minneapolis cop Lee Edwards is back at work

By Anna Pratt 7/16/08 6:58 AM

Updated: Minneapolis Police Lt. Lee Edwards, who was put on paid administrative leave in April, returned to duty on Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of the case who asked not to be identified. Edwards, formerly the leader of the MPD’s homicide unit and of the department’s Fourth Precinct, was suspended pending an unspecified […]

The ordeal of Blake Officer: A not so juvenile justice system

By Anna Pratt 6/23/08 1:39 PM

Last Dec. 29 Blake Shamar Officer, a 17-year-old African-American, was on his way home from work at a local sandwich shop when he stumbled onto a crime scene in South Minneapolis. A middle-aged Latino man had been shot nonfatally during a robbery in front of an apartment building at Pillsbury and 28th avenues south. As […]

‘Get out, or I will Taser you!’: Kenyan caught between cabbies and cops

By Anna Pratt 4/29/08 11:47 AM

Edwin Okong’o says he didn’t get a fair shake, either from police or from a fellow African immigrant, about a month ago when a late-night taxi ride landed him in jail. Now suffering from “radial nerve damage,” he says he was threatened by a police officer with a Taser, handcuffed too tightly and jailed — […]

Cops and immigration enforcement: Man to be deported after being discovered with toy BB gun

By Anna Pratt 4/25/08 1:56 PM

Jorge Emilio Esquivel-Munoz, 31, who is from Mexico but has lived in Minneapolis over the past four years, probably didn’t imagine that hanging out with a friend who was drunkenly fooling around with a toy BB gun would trigger his arrest and deportation. But last Sunday, April 20, that’s exactly what happened, according to his […]


Written by annapratt

January 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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