MPD press release about fatal officer-involved motorcycle wreck contradicts itself
A Minneapolis Police Department press release addressing the circumstances of Ivan Romero's death contradicts itself in two adjacent paragraphs.
SEE ALSO: MPD Chief Harteau says Betsy Hodges is putting words in her mouth about cop cameras
Romero, 24, died in the intersection of West 26th Street and Blaisdell Avenue on May 10 when his motorcycle collided with a police SUV that was on the way to the Terrence Franklin standoff. Yesterday, MPD Chief Janeé Harteau announced no officers will be disciplined as a result of a state investigation into the fatal crash, which was determined to have happened as Romero skidded through the intersection out of control.
One paragraph in the MPD's press release suggests Romero had a driver's license but no motorcycle license:
The investigator reviewed the driver's license of Mr. Romero-Oliveras and determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a motorcycle endorsement or permit which suggests that he may have been an inexperienced motorcyclist.
While the very next one states he didn't have a driver's license at all:
The MPD investigation determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a valid driver's license of any kind.
It might not be anything more than unclear writing, but still, we figure it's worth pointing out.
A voicemail left with MPD spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington seeking clarification wasn't immediately returned.
To read the entire press release, click to page two.
From the MPD:
Chief Harteau presents facts of fatal traffic accident
November 14, 2013 (MINNEAPOLIS) This morning at City Hall, Chief Janeé Harteau presented the findings of the completed investigation into the fatal traffic accident that occurred on May 10, 2013 involving Officer Joshua Young and a motorcyclist, Ivan Romeras-Olivares.
"I want to begin by reiterating that this incident was tragic for many. I would like to first express my sympathies to the Romero-Oliveras family for the untimely death of Ivan and to his girlfriend, Joselin Torrejon-Vilamil who was on the motorcycle that day and was also injured in the accident.
This is not a case of a high speed response in which an officer ran through a red light as has been eluded to and reported. This is the case of an officer responding to a call for help, using caution traveling well below the posted speed, properly using red lights & siren and being struck by a motorcycle who had already lost control sliding into the rear of Officer Young squad car," said Chief Harteau.
The MN State Patrol conducted the accident reconstruction and determined the following:
· The squad car was traveling at a speed under 16 miles per hour just before the crash and was traveling approximately 24 - 26 miles per hour near the point of impact.
· The motorcycle was determined to have been traveling between 32- 34 miles per hour at the start of the skid.
· Evidence indicates that the motorcycle did not achieve maximum breaking. The rear tire locked and the driver attempted to steer to the right just prior to entering the intersection. Since the rear tire was locked, the motorcycle lost a significant portion of its stability, which caused the motorcycle to tip onto its right side and "slide out".
· The investigator reviewed the driver's license of Mr. Romero-Oliveras and determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a motorcycle endorsement or permit which suggests that he may have been an inexperienced motorcyclist.
The MPD investigation determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a valid driver's license of any kind. In addition to exceeding the speed limit, Mr. Romero-Oliveras failed to yield to an emergency vehicle as required by law. The investigator found no indication that Officer Young saw the motorcycle prior to the impact.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office reviewed this case for consideration of criminal charges and declined to issue any charges. The case was also reviewed for possible misdemeanor charges of reckless or careless driving and there was insufficient evidence that Officer Young acted in violation of either of the provisions.
"I am not wearing my uniform purposely to remind everyone that behind our uniforms we are human beings who even when making good faith efforts and responding to calls for help, events such as this unfortunately can happen. This was a traffic accident, with a tragic outcome. We must also acknowledge that this negatively impacted Officer Young and his family as well. He is a family man, a new father, a son, a veteran on the MN Army National Guard and one of the responders to the infamous "Black Hawk Down" incident, a friend to many and a really good man," said Chief Harteau.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.