Damning details relating to the 2006 shooting of Fong Lee by a Minneapolis police officer came to light last week. The capstone was David Hanners’ terrific Sunday piece profiling Lee, officer Jason Anderson and the handgun at the center of the controversy. The upshot from the coverage: evidence suggesting Lee was unarmed and that the gun purportedly recovered at the scene may have been planted by police.
The allegations have some activists calling for a federal investigation of the shooting and demanding that MPD Chief Tim Dolan resign. The city’s top cop was apparently on vacation last week and unavailable for comment. Today the department released a statement from Dolan:
We take all allegations of police misconduct very seriously. We want our community to be able to trust that its officers will protect with courage and serve with compassion.
That’s why we want to be absolutely clear: no officer ever planted evidence in this case and we look forward to proving that in court.
While no officer wants to take another life, two internal department investigations, as well as an independent grand jury, have ruled that the death of Fong Lee was a case of justifiable homicide.
Unfortunately, because of the ongoing civil litigation, we can’t comment specifically on the facts in this case. But we are confident that when this case concludes, the actions of our officers will be vindicated.
A lawsuit filed by Lee’s family is slated to go to trial on May 1 at U.S. District Court.