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At Last Minute, Lame Duck Hennepin County Attorney Discovers Cops Can Lie

Plus a neat North Side pastor, Tom Barnard is angry, and the baffling fate of Eclipse Records in today's Flyover.

It's Mike Freeman!
Tony Webster via Flickr

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Freeman Learns That Cops Lie on His Way out the Door

After just 24 years on the job, outgoing Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has made an amazing discovery: Cops lie sometimes. Freeman recently told Fox 9 that his office erred in prosecuting Jaleel Stallings, the man who returned fire when a Minneapolis SWAT team shot him from an unmarked van with a rubber bullet. “The police lied,” Freeman said of the 2020 case. “And when we found out that at least some of the evidence wasn’t as they said it was, we reduced the charge considerably, but we didn’t reduce enough.”

But today, Deena Winter at the Minnesota Reformer challenged Freeman’s recollection with some actual facts. First off, the incident was all on video, so there was never any doubt of what occurred. And according to Stallings’s attorney, Eric Rice, the prosecution never turned over any evidence of police misconduct, despite being constitutionally required. Nor were the charges against Stallings reduced. Fortunately, despite how the case was handled, the jury acquitted Stallings. So however much Freeman regrets how his office handled the case, sound like he should regret just a little bit more.

Wall Street Journal Highlights Righteous North Side Pastor

The lede to “A Pastor Got Fed Up With a Crime Hotspot, So He Bought It,” which dropped today via the Wall Street Journal, is remarkable bordering on unbelievable. In it, north Minneapolis bishop Larry Cook confronts a group of drug dealers lurking in an alley between a Marathon gas station and his North Side church. “It got a little heated and they finally told me if I wanted to do something about it, I’d have to buy the gas station,” Cook reports. About a year later, that’s exactly what the leader of Real Believers Faith Center did! (The saga slightly recalls this classic Simpsons bit.)

Cook cooked up the $3 million required for the purchase, and now the “grimy” gas station/chicken shack has been transformed into a bright spot off West Broadway Avenue. Parishioners patrol the address on security detail; the shop no longer sells tobacco products to folks under 21. Violence and drugs still afflict the intersection of W. Broadway & N. Freemont, but the rejuvenated Marathon station has contributed to “a significant reduction” in criminal activity, one observer tells WSJ. “I had an opportunity to take something out of the devil’s kingdom and God put it in my reach,” Bishop Cook says. “We really believe this can be a powerful piece of the community.”

‘Ornery’ Tom Barnard Says He’s Getting Pushed Out at KQ

Reporting about Tom Barnard being pissed off is real dog-bites-man material. Yet, whenever the cranky-ass DJ decides to dish to the Strib’s Neal Justin, it yields interesting nuggets. Today, we learned that Barnard is not actually retiring from KQRS after 37 years—he insists the suits at Cumulus Media are forcing him out. “They called me back in May and said, ‘This has got to come to an end’ because I kept saying to them, ‘Please stop destroying my show,’ ” Barnard says. “They hate me.” (Justin points out that the reliably insufferable, occasionally racist KQ Morning Show, once a ratings juggernaut, has tumbled in recent years.) In any case, Tommy isn’t mincing words as he heads out the door: “I didn’t agree with one thing they’ve done over the past 10 years,” he says of management. “We literally do not like one another. At all.” Got it! Barnard, 71, says he’ll spend his post-KQ years focusing on his family-staffed/hosted podcast network, The Family.

Eclipse Records Is In Trouble. (We Think?)

After 23 years in business, downtown St. Paul record shop Eclipse Records quietly closed in August. The circumstances, as reported by Bring Me the News are… really confusing! Try and stick with us. So, a nonprofit called EquaSpace has plans to buy Eclipse’s home, The Grace Building at 421 Wabasha St., and reimagine it as a “collaborative co-working” space. Anyway, because Eclipse is a pro-profit company and EquaSpace only intends to rent to other nonprofits, the record store had to get the boot, it seems. “Unfortunately, in the whole grand scheme, I was collateral damage,” Eclipse owner Joe Furth told BMTN. When the Grace Building deal fell through last week, and ownership shifted back to the seller, Furth thought, just maybe, the shop could return under his old landlord. But apparently things still look grim; EquaSpace says keeping Eclipse aboard would not be “affordable or sustainable.” Hm, give us a cool for-profit record store over boring office space any day of the week. Hopefully things work out for Eclipse, whether that’s in downtown St. Paul or somewhere else.