VOICES In the matter of Charles F. Adams


The continued saga of Black Mpls police officers

Almost 16 years ago, an action was taken within the Minneapolis Police Department to suspend Officer Charles Adams for 20 days for insubordination. About a year and a half later, a second suspension for 10 days without pay was imposed again on Officer Charles Adams, again for insubordination and conduct unbecoming of a Minneapolis Police Officer.

During the term of Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, the head of her security detail, Charles F. Adams, failed security clearance by the Secret Service on at least three occasions when she was the guest of former President Bill Clinton on return flights of Air Force One back to Washington, D.C. He never was told why. And in the late 1990s, Charles F. Adams, although number one on the sergeant�s list, was past over for promotion. Why?

In November 2007, Charles F. Adams was removed from the Homicide Unit in what has been identified as a rather celebrated conflict with his then-commander, Lt. Amelia Huffman, now recently promoted to captain.

About three days after his removal, Don Shelby, of WCCO-TV Channel 4, was preparing to do an editorial on the 10 o�clock news criticizing the Minneapolis Police Department for their actions against Charles F. Adams. In the course of his investigation, Don Shelby received a telephone call from Tim Dolan, chief of the Minneapolis Police, in which Chief Dolan said that Charles F. Adams was an �effing� liar.

And then a couple of days after that, Chief Dolan, on Jason Lewis� radio program, continued to refer to Charles F. Adams as a liar, as a man punished and disciplined for insubordination.

In a deposition in the first week of March 2008, Chief Tim Dolan, under oath, emphatically reaffirmed his statement and revealed what he claimed was the existence of documents to support his position that Charles F. Adams was an effing liar disciplined for insubordination.

Four and a half months later, the Police Federation�s attorneys requested the documents under discovery, to verify that these events had taken place.

Lo and behold, when they turned over this rock, they discovered the rotting worms of a colossal defamation of Charles F. Adams� character. Two letters about two separate acts of insubordination. Suspensions of 20 days and 10 days. But not about Charles F. Adams. No. It was Charles L. Adams � a White officer, now deceased.

No one has been able to explain, since the letters were delivered a couple of weeks ago to Charles F. Adams and his attorneys, how this happened. And how is it that the second letter only appeared after WCCO had examined the personnel file of Charles F. Adams?

Of course, the damage to Charles F. Adams is significant and severe. So how is it that the fact checkers at the Star Tribune continue to allow to pass these references to insubordination in two editions of their paper just last week? There are now serious concerns of how large was this very deep-rooted conspiracy to seriously injure the reputation of Charles F. Adams.

The chief, the mayor and the department can’t have it both ways. Either they knew, and continued to advance this slander of his reputation, or they can be manipulated by letters about a dead White man, Charles L. Adams, and thus should not be chief executives. They, with malice and forethought, placed them into the pubic arena. It makes one wonder what other reputations are they maliciously trying to ruin.

This all comes on the heels of revelations that there was never any evidence of wrongdoing involving Lt. Lee Edwards, who, as an outgrowth of false allegations against his person and reputation, was not only suspended with pay, but lost the chance to become the first African American police chief in Northfield, Minnesota. So who else?

These events raise serious questions about the intentional and calculated and malicious retaliation against African American officers, including the most recent, the leaking of information on the settlement agreement involving five African American officers now in federal court before the honorable Chief Judge Michael Davis.

The July 24 Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Federal Magistrate Susan Nelson has ordered the placing of a gag order and is considering sanctions against Minneapolis City officials. It is quite clear that they leaked the information, and in the course of that once again raised the issue of insubordination � their own � before the courts in a situation that, had they taken the time to truly examine the so-called evidence, they might have recognized the difference between Black and White.

The Star Tribune will eventually report that on Thursday, July 24, City officials were required to appear before the federal court to discuss sanctions regarding their disclosure of confidential information. We are amazed at the position of City officials that they did not understand the requirement of confidentiality of the settlement conference. They not only violated court rules of confidentiality, they also compromised the office of the federal magistrate, Ms. Nelson. R.T. and the City must remember courts have long memories and see things beyond Black and White.