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Cops Say the Darndest Things

Plus more homegrown insurrectionists, a new county attorney candidate, and a victory for the butterflies in today's Flyover.

Some cops.
Photo by munshots on Unsplash

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

Details of MPD ‘Hunting’ on Lake Street Surface

Over at the Minnesota Reformer, Deena Winter continues to comb through police body cam footage from the nights following George Floyd’s murder, and what she finds doesn’t make the officers sound like they were out to—what’s that phrase, “to serve with compassion”? Here are some choice quotes. Cop #1:  “Fuck these media.” Cop #2: “They think they can do whatever they want.” Another officer provides this problematic sociology lesson: “This group probably is predominantly white, because there’s no looting and fires.” Oh also another cop imitated Elmer Fudd and claimed to be hunting “anarchists.” Here’s a police commander praising his officers: “Instead of chasing people around… you guys are out hunting people now.” Lemme tell you, if I bit into this many bad apples, I would quite simply stop eating apples.

Insurrection: A Family Affair

Did you know that trespassing, destruction of property, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer are all crimes? Three more Minnesotans are learning that this week, as they face federal charges for their part in the January 6 insurrection. Aaron James, 35, Robert Westbury, 62, and his son Isaac Westbury, 19, have been charged with five felonies and five misdemeanors, including assaulting an officer with a shield. It’s gonna be a rough time for the Westbury family this season; Robert’s other son, Jonah, 26, was charged in connection with the Capitol siege about six months ago after a former high school classmate recognized him and turned him in. The probable matriarch of the family, Rosemarie Westbury, who the Strib says “shares an address with the defendants but did not confirm her relationship to them” is mad as hell. “It’s a false narrative,” she claims. “None of these individuals that were brought into custody have any criminal records.” Well, actually, they do now, Rosemarie.

Freeman-Free in 2022

Mike Freeman first became Hennepin County Attorney in the same year that the Twins last won the World Series—and I don’t have to tell you that was quite a while ago. So his announcement that he would (finally) not seek re-election offers a rare opportunity for a progressive change. The county’s former Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty declared her candidacy last week, and spoke to Racket about her plans. Today, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler officially announced that he’d like the job too—and also that he won’t seek re-election for his seat in the legislature. Keep in mind, this is all for 2022—we still have another election in November to get through.

Get (Your Laws) Off My Lawn

Big victory for freedom-loving yard owners in North Mankato. City Hall tried to stifle Ed Borchardt’s vision for a bird-/bee-/butterfly-friendly oasis, declaring his wild yard filled with native plants a public nuisance. But the former Minnesota State University botany teacher emerged victorious when, on Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals said “The Man” (i.e., busybody city officials) can’t dictate certain lawn standards to “da man” (Borchardt). “I didn’t start out to be a crusader; I wanted a place to have butterflies and not have to spray and fertilize. But it’s kind of turned out to be that I am,” Borchardt tells Strib reporter/indispensable Twitter follow John Reinan (who just yesterday wrote this incredible lede: “A bridge is supposed to be over the water. Not in it.”) Keep givin’ ’em hell, Ed.