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Hennepin County Pays Unjustly Shackled Pregnant Woman $500K

Plus a sick leave bill, MN's unexpected Hitler ally, and a very familiar Sex Guy in today's Flyover.

4:47 PM CST on February 17, 2023

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

County’s ‘Brutal, Sadistic, and Unconscionable’ Treatment of Pregnant Woman Costs Taxpayers $500K

In 2021, KARE 11’s investigative unit—A.J. Lagoe, Brandon Stahl, and Steve Eckert—broke news of a bungled 2020 home raid that resulted in a pregnant Dayton homeowner being shackled for hours at Hennepin County Medical Center. The woman, Sara, says Maple Grove cops slamming her to the ground sent her into labor, and that the whole ordeal left her with PTSD and nightmares. In a follow-up report today, the KARE team revealed why officers kicked open the home's door and allegedly terrorized the family inside: They were looking for a stolen snowblower.

Sara’s husband, Faris Hussien, missed the birth of his child while inside a jail cell. He was playing video games at the time of the raid, and, from his legally owned handgun, fired warning shots at what he believed to be home intruders; detective James Kirkey, who orchestrated the botched snowblower retrieval, was wearing plain clothes. “They took away my happiness that day,” Sara told KARE. “I will never forgive them,” Faris added. Sara's federal lawsuit describes her treatment that day as “brutal, sadistic, and unconscionable.” The couple will at least receive financial compensation to the tune of $500,000 after settling that lawsuit with Hennepin County. Kirkey was suspended without pay… for three days.

MN House Passes Sick Pay Bill, Exempts Construction Unions

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that all workers need paid sick days. No one should have to choose between paying their rent and not spreading a potentially deadly virus to their co-workers. (Because they will pick rent!) So it’s good to read in today’s Minnesota Reformer that the Minnesota House passed an “earned sick and safe time” bill, which now heads to the Senate, where it is likely to pass. Under the bill, workers gain one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, maxing out at 48 hours annually. One potentially shady aspect to this bill: Construction unions can waive the requirement for contractors. Republicans failed to carve out a similar exemption for small businesses, in the process raising the day's funniest argument: Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) said many of his district’s small business owners don’t have computers and can’t be expected to keep track of this by hand. How can the state of Minnesota expect a mere business owner to do basic arithmetic?

Remembering that Time Minnesota Had a Nazi-Paid Senator

Today’s Curious Minnesota column in the Strib is very curious: It’s all about a well-liked and respected politician who was paid by the Third Reich to spout pro-Hitler propaganda. As a Senator, Minnesota’s Ernest Lundeed was considered progressive. A member of the Farmer-Labor Party, he supported workers’ rights, unemployment insurance, and FDR’s New Deal. Then, in March of 1940, he gave a pro-German speech under a Nazi flag. Just when it looked like the U.S. could be joining its allies England and France in WWII, German reps sought to sway public opinion by paying politicians to give pro-Third Reich speeches, often written by the propagandists themselves. Lundeed was one of them.

By August of 1940, Lundeed appeared to have realized he was in too deep; he was under U.S. investigation. On the day of his death, his secretary says he cried all the way to the airport. He was scheduled to give another pro-isolationist talk, but his plane crashed under mysterious circumstances. No passengers survived, but his speech was found in the field at the site. "There is so little foundation for the hysterical cry that Hitler is attacking the world that it would not be worth mentioning were it not for the invidious intrigue behind it," it read.

This Beautiful Fan-Made Prince Tribute Couldn’t Get The Rights To ‘Purple Rain,’ So They Got A Local Opera Singer To Sing A Similar Song Called ‘Sex Guy Loves To Be Purple’

Haaaaark! I hear the pitter-patter of the feet of Sex Guy.

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