Jordan One Year Later: What's Different, What's the Same

A City Pages Roundtable

August 1, 2002: Officer Melissa Schmidt and 60-year-old Martha Donald shoot and kill each other in a gunfight in the restroom of a south Minneapolis public high-rise. Schmidt, who knew Donald and responded to an emergency call that Donald was drunk and distressed at Horn Towers, is the first Minneapolis police officer killed on duty since Jerry Haaf was shot in 1992.

August 8, 2002: The Minneapolis Police Federation, the union that represents Minneapolis police officers, calls for the resignation of council member Natalie Johnson Lee after she issued a letter memorializing Schmidt and Donald. Johnson Lee, at the time the only city leader of color, is accused of sympathizing with a cop killer.

August 13, 2002: Minneapolis police shoot and wound 19-year-old Terrelle Oliver in the 2200 block of James Avenue North after he allegedly points a gun toward an officer.

August 21, 2002: Patricia Campbell Glenn, a mediator from the Justice Department, receives a letter from community activists requesting her services to quell tensions between the Minneapolis police and minorities.

August 22, 2002: A stray bullet from an officer's gun wounds 11-year-old Julius Powell during a botched drug raid at a house in the 1700 block of 26th Avenue North. In the streets nearby, several news-outlet vehicles are smashed and burned, and several reporters are injured. Eventually, the police retreat and leave the task of calming the crowd to area activists. Olson offers Spike Moss as much as $6,000 to lead citizen patrols, but Moss doesn't take the money.

August 23, 2002: Patricia Campbell Glenn, the federal mediator, arrives from Chicago and tours the streets of Jordan. The next day she meets with city leaders, who ask her to return the following week to continue to assess the situation.

September 13, 2002: A deeply divided Minneapolis City Council debates whether to allow Glenn to conduct mediation. A final decision is delayed two weeks.

October 16, 2002: Police shoot and wound a man with a gun in the 2200 block of North Fourth Street. Lonnie Evens was in the back seat of a car officers had stopped, and emerged from the car with a gun. Police shot him in the arm and chest after he refused to drop the weapon. It's the third shooting of a black male by an officer in the area in three months.

November 1, 2002: Christopher Burns, a black man on the city's south side, dies while police are trying to restrain him in his home after a domestic dispute. Eventually the NAACP calls for the two officers involved to be fired.

November 22, 2002: A stray bullet kills 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, who was sitting at her family's dining room table in the 3400 block of Chicago Avenue South. Chief Olson expresses outrage and urges community members to come forward with information. That same day the City Council approves federal mediation, set to begin December 10.

November 27, 2002: Police arrest and charge three men in Tyesha Edward's murder. Isaiah Tyson, 21, Hans Williams, 23, and Myon Burrell, 17, are all tried as adults.

December 29, 2002: Year-end statistics show that while serious crime is down in Minneapolis, the number of homicides rose slightly from 42 in 2001 to 46. Aggravated assaults also increased, from 1,591 to 1,692.

January 10, 2003: Officer Tim Lauridsen and Cpl. Donald Schwartz shoot and wound 33-year-old Rolando Conrad after a car and foot chase near north Lowry and Logan Avenues. Conrad allegedly punched Lauridsen before running away, and is charged with assaulting an officer.

January 30, 2003: Two Minneapolis police officers are accused of urinating on an intoxicated American Indian man and leaving him out in cold weather.

January 31, 2003: Two 19-year-old men are arrested for allegedly shooting at a woman in the 2200 block of 29th Avenue North. The woman was describing a similar shooting to police that had happened in the area three days earlier.

February 4, 2003: An off-duty police officer is charged with assault and drunken driving. Matthew Olson is accused of pointing a gun at another man's head after pulling the man over. Olson, who was driving the wrong way down a one-way street downtown, also scuffled with the man.

February 25, 2003: Officer Duy Ngo, working undercover in south Minneapolis, is shot multiple times by a fellow officer. Charlie Storlie mistook Ngo for a suspect in an altercation with another man.

March 23, 2003: Two men are wounded in a gun battle that involves two Minneapolis police officers, Peter Hafstad and Kurt Indehar, near Lowry and Lyndale Avenues North.

April 15 and 16, 2000: Two Hmong boys, ages 15 and 17, are shot on the city's north side just hours apart. The 17-year-old was killed while he was waiting for a bus on 26th and Newton Avenues North. Both shootings are linked to Asian gangs.

April 24, 2003: Three girls, one age 17 and two age 15, are wounded in a drive-by shooting in south Minneapolis, just four blocks from where Tyesha Edwards was murdered.

May 7, 2003: Police shoot and kill Eric Netters after a traffic stop in Jordan. Netters slammed Officer James Boyd's arm in his door and drove off, dragging the officer along the vehicle. Another officer, Mark Bohnsack, jumped in the vehicle and shot Netters multiple times when he refused to stop the car.

May 22, 2003: After countless false starts, federal mediation is on again, with several police, community, and city leaders sitting at the table to negotiate with the justice department's Patricia Campbell Glenn. But the process's detractors say Olson has manipulated the composition of the community negotiating team, and few express hope of meaningful action. Of the nine original community representatives who spearheaded mediation, only one is involved in the renewed talks.

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