What really happened to Terrance Franklin? Three months and counting …


Terrance Franklin was shot to death by Minneapolis police on May 10. He was shot after a police chase, in a basement laundry room, where the only people present were Minneapolis police officers, their dog, and Terrance Franklin. Since then, demonstrations and demands for action and information have been met with the standard “we’re investigating” line from MPD and promises of a grand jury investigation. But no information. Not from the police. Not from the coroner. Not from the county attorney.

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder writer and community organizer Mel Reeves says that a reliable source told him Terrance Franklin was shot five times in the back of the head and twice in the back. Nobody in Minneapolis or Hennepin County official-dom has confirmed or denied this account.

The case has to go to a grand jury, Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman told MSR reporter Charles Hallman. (See Hallman’s story and explanation of why the African-American community does not have confidence in the official story or procedure.) Grand jury proceedings are secret, and Freeman said no evidence should be released before the grand jury hears the evidence. 

But what’s taking so long? This is not a case with dozens of witnesses or boxes full of complicated documents. This is not a case with a long timeline, or wiretaps that need to be transcribed. 

How long does it take for an autopsy? How long does it take to gather the evidence of what happened in that basement laundry room where Terrance Franklin was shot to death? How long does it take to get statements from the police officers who were present — or to acknowledge that they are “taking the Fifth” and refusing to testify because they might incriminate themselves? How long does it take to get the case to a grand jury?

In May, writing in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, Mel Reeves quoted police spokesperson Cindy Barrington as saying, “We don’t anticipate hearing anything for four weeks. As soon as we have confirmed data that’s public, we will present it.”

That was May. This is August. 

The only people who are talking are the folks who keep marching, demanding justice for Terrance Franklin. Next up: a solidarity rally and march on Saturday, August 17. Here’s what you need to know, in the press release from the organizers:

We are Terrance Franklin Solidarity Rally/March

Labor, religious, activist communities demands that cop/s who shot Terrance be prosecuted

What: Rally and march

When: Saturday, August 17th  1pm

Where: downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin County Government Center

Who: The Justice 4 Terrance Franklin Committee, endorsed by Minnesota State Baptist Convention, AFSCME local 3800, AFRAM (African American Caucus) SEIU, IWW, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Minnesota State Baptist Convention, Occupy Homes MN, Welfare Rights Committee, CTUL, CWA local 7250

Indeed, We are Terrance Franklin! Judging from the way Minneapolis police have been caught misbehaving and acting as if they are “above the law” it’s not much of a stretch to say that Terrance could have been one of us; One of your sons, or nephew, or cousin or father.

Terrance was shot down after being chased by Minneapolis police May 10 in Uptown in Minneapolis. Terrance was unarmed and had committed no crime, yet the police apparently abridged his constitutional right to trial by shooting him 5 times in the back of the head and twice in the back. This shooting took place in a climate in which police have acted violently, and hateful toward people of color especially. 

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman assured the public he would be an impartial investigator. However in a recent Star Tribune article he revealed himself to be far from impartial, pointedly blaming Franklin for causing his own death and implying that because Franklin had been accused of a crime it justified his death at the hands of the police.

Shame on Mike Freeman!

WE demand a new a fair and impartial investigation

WE demand prosecution of Lucas Peterson & other officers who had a hand in Franklin’s death