Police beat


Police beat What happens to all the money, TV sets, cars and other property seized by the now-disbanded Metro Gang Strike Force? The state is setting up a hotline, run by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, to take calls from people who want their property back. When? “Soon,” reports the Star Tribune.

Meanwhile, the legislature held a second hearing on the Metro Gang Strike Force Monday, and plans three or four more hearings, including questions for the state public safety commissioner about when and how he will be ready to continue funding for seven other metro-area drugs, gangs or violence-related police task forces. Campion’s office said there might be too many task forces. Ya think?

Golden Valley police reached a settlement that will pay $200,000 to a woman they tased back in 2005. All charges against the woman and her husband were dropped – she was a passenger in the car he was driving when police made the traffic stop, reports the Star Tribune, and ended up “handcuffed, on the receiving end of a Taser shot and barefoot in a jail cell for at least three hours.” There’s the usual paragraph, which every news organization probably can pull out of its files by now:

As the use of Tasers has increased in recent years, so has debate about them. While officers consider them a safe, nonlethal form of controlling a suspect, others raise concerns about the danger of injury and possibly death from their use. The devices have been criticized by humanitarian and civil rights groups who contend that several hundred people have died since 2001 after being shot by Tasers and that Taser shocks have contributed to or caused at least 50 of the fatalities. Yet, police across the country increasingly are equipping themselves with Tasers, and supporters of the weapons say many more lives have been saved because officers avoided firing bullets.

The city, of course, “did not admit wrongdoing.”

One final police note from Australia Members of an elite Special Emergency Response Team, used in situations involving explosives and hostage negotiation, were observed jumping out of their unmarked police van, naked, and running around the van at a stoplight in Brisbane. They were apparently on their way to a stag party. Their boss, who said they are considered on duty 24 hours a day and usually do not drink, reported that the two officers are “very remorseful.”