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David Chanen

Reporter | Courts and criminal justice
phone: 612-673-4465
David Chanen covers Hennepin County and appellate courts, and legal and criminal justice issues.
Recent content from David Chanen
Investigation into Prince's death now is a criminal probe

Investigation into Prince's death now is a criminal probe

The Carver County Sheriff's Office cited an exception to Minnesota public records laws allowing the suppression of information relating to preparing a case "for the commission of a crime."
Rare contest underway for post of Hennepin County chief judge

Rare contest underway for post of Hennepin County chief judge

For the first time in more than a decade, the person in line for the position is facing a challenge from a colleague.
NAACP calling for new probe into Jamar Clark shooting

NAACP calling for new probe into Jamar Clark shooting

The group demands a special prosecutor, as the woman who was with Clark tried to clear up discrepancies about that night, saying he never hurt her.
Freeman gives emphatic defense of decision not to charge officers

Freeman gives emphatic defense of decision not to charge officers

But prosecutor raises question of why 2 cops lacked Tasers
Clark's father says his son was in no way 'ready to die'

Clark's father says his son was in no way 'ready to die'

After peaceful rally, protesters take to skyways; another group later gathers at north Minneapolis memorial.
Deadly force found to be justified in 61-second clash with Clark

Deadly force found to be justified in 61-second clash with Clark

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said evidence confirms officers' account that Clark grabbed one officer's gun and was not handcuffed when he was shot. Activists said some witness accounts were discounted.

Man shot by Edina police found guilty of illegally owning BB gun

A man shot by Edina police in August was convicted of illegally owning a gun. Colin Peter Reinsmoen, 36, was found guilty Monday after four…

Guilty plea in shooting death of 19-year-old near north Minneapolis church

A Minneapolis man pleaded guilty Tuesday in the Oct. 14 shooting death of a 19-year-old near a north Minneapolis church. Jontrel M. Bolden, 21, pleaded…
Views are mixed on grand juries' role in police shooting cases

Views are mixed on grand juries' role in police shooting cases

Jamar Clark's death in Minneapolis has spurred fresh debate from legal community and activists.
Hennepin Co. to stop using grand juries in police shooting cases

Hennepin Co. to stop using grand juries in police shooting cases

The Hennepin County Attorney's office will investigate and decide whether to file charges in such cases. The new policy applies to the Jamar Clark case.
'Ruthless' mastermind confesses in St. Paul to murders, drug deals

'Ruthless' mastermind confesses in St. Paul to murders, drug deals

The secret government witness has been linked to the global trade in drugs, guns and assassinations. He was expected in federal court in St. Paul on Wednesday to testify against several alleged underlings.
U investigating sex-video post on basketball player's social media account

U investigating sex-video post on basketball player's social media account

Video of a sex act appeared on the social media sites of Gophers freshman guard Kevin Dorsey on Friday night. He was one of three players suspended for Sunday's game at Illinois.
BCA denies violating legal access to Jamar Clark video

BCA denies violating legal access to Jamar Clark video

ACLU and NAACP lawsuit claims that public has a right to view the evidence.

Hennepin County workhouse in lockdown after flu-like illness spreads through facility

"It appears to be a 24-hour bug," administrator said.
Obituary: Henry Fisher was a top Bloomington hotelier with an interest in big bands

Obituary: Henry Fisher was a top Bloomington hotelier with an interest in big bands

In Henry Fisher’s mind, what better way to promote his new Registry Hotel on the famed Bloomington Interstate 494 strip than send snow to Texas?…

Court upholds state's largest jury verdict for cows hurt by stray voltage

Judgment is largest in Minnesota in cases pitting dairy farmers, utilities.

Minn. Supreme Court ruling may be costly for snowbirds

The 4-3 opinion, in the case of a Minnetonka couple, sharply defined what the justices described as an ambiguous law that determines when a person is considered to be a resident in Minnesota.

Woman convicted of stabbing death at downtown Minneapolis transit station

A woman was found guilty Wednesday in the stabbing death of another woman at a downtown Minneapolis transit station in June. Ivory Andis, 21, was…
Man Tasered in skyway settles police excessive force lawsuit

Man Tasered in skyway settles police excessive force lawsuit

Chris Lollie posted video of the arrest in St. Paul online, drawing national attention.
Jamar Clark shooting inquiry now in county attorney's hands

Jamar Clark shooting inquiry now in county attorney's hands

The officers, Dustin Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg, have returned to work, said department spokesman Scott Seroka. They had been on paid adminstrative leave since the shooting.
ACLU, NAACP lawsuit calls for release of Clark shooting video

ACLU, NAACP lawsuit calls for release of Clark shooting video

State agencies are being sued. Activists have been demanding release of the video

U.S. Supreme Court gives juveniles serving life without parole a chance

Supreme Court ruling will mean reviews of 8 murder sentences in Minnesota.

Tax preparer behind Hennepin County's largest tax fraud case is going to prison

Rona Griffin cost the state more than $1.6 million in tax revenue between 2009 and 2013.
Group of young strangers bring comfort to mother of beaten baby

Group of young strangers bring comfort to mother of beaten baby

High school students reach out to mom of badly beaten 22-month-old girl
Last defendant in stabbing death of Anarae Schunk takes plea deal

Last defendant in stabbing death of Anarae Schunk takes plea deal

Family agreed on plea agreement because they didn't want the trauma of a trial
Minneapolis father charged with severely beating his baby daughter

Minneapolis father charged with severely beating his baby daughter

If convicted, county attorney says he'll seek enhanced penalty.
Defendant in shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters claims he's a victim

Defendant in shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters claims he's a victim

The attorney for Nathan Gustavsson said his client won't get a fair trial in Hennepin County, so he is seeking a change of venue.
Seward Market killer 1st in MN to reverse sentence of life without parole

Seward Market killer 1st in MN to reverse sentence of life without parole

Mahdi Ali gets mandatory no-parole term reduced after U.S. high court ruling about juveniles.

After 40 years, Hennepin County jury assembly room leaves the basement

Area relocating to Government Center's 24th floor from basement.
Minneapolis NAACP objects to the restraint of 14-year-old girl at MOA

Minneapolis NAACP objects to the restraint of 14-year-old girl at MOA

The group is asking the mall to apologize and fire the security guards involved.
Current DJ Mary Lucia's stalker gets probation, restraining order

Current DJ Mary Lucia's stalker gets probation, restraining order

He has already served jail time, will pay restitution.
BLM protest at MOA, airport mostly peaceful; 13 arrested

BLM protest at MOA, airport mostly peaceful; 13 arrested

After filling the mall rotunda and getting warned about arrests, demonstrators moved the protest to nearby light-rail trains, taking the Blue Line to the Humphrey Terminal.
Ruling doesn't stop Black Lives Matter plans to protest at mall

Ruling doesn't stop Black Lives Matter plans to protest at mall

But judge sides with Mall of America in barring three activists from Wednesday's demonstration.
Judge will decide if MOA can stop planned Black Lives protest

Judge will decide if MOA can stop planned Black Lives protest

Judge weighs mall's restraining order; Black Lives Matter sees it as attack on free speech.
Lake Minnetonka millionaire who collected welfare has new charges

Lake Minnetonka millionaire who collected welfare has new charges

Minnetonka millionaire who collected welfare faces fraud indictment.
4 charged in violent Twin Cities crime spree that left two dead

4 charged in violent Twin Cities crime spree that left two dead

In a violent rampage that apparently targeted Latinos in the Twin Cities, the group killed two people, robbed a third and terrified a family in their home, officials said.
Lakeville man accused of shooting protesters near Fourth Precinct station faces more serious charge

Lakeville man accused of shooting protesters near Fourth Precinct station faces more serious charge

A new charge of first-degree assault was presented Tuesday morning at a bail hearing for Allen Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville.
U.S. Supreme Court to review Minn. DWI test refusal law

U.S. Supreme Court to review Minn. DWI test refusal law

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to review Minnesota's unique implied-consent law, which makes it a crime for a suspected drunken driver to refuse a warrantless breath test.
Use of lifesaving drug for heroin overdoses continues to grow in Twin Cities

Use of lifesaving drug for heroin overdoses continues to grow in Twin Cities

National Sheriffs' Association announces pilot program to train more front-line officers.
Jamar Clark arrested by Mpls. police in July after chase

Jamar Clark arrested by Mpls. police in July after chase

An officer punched Clark in the face after he refused to be handcuffed in a July arrest stemming from a chase in a stolen car, according to documents.
Men accused of shooting protesters appear in court as demonstrations go on

Men accused of shooting protesters appear in court as demonstrations go on

Pastors lined up at City Hall and crowds gathered outside Government Center as four suspects have bail hearing.
Suspects in protest shootings charged with assault, riot crimes

Suspects in protest shootings charged with assault, riot crimes

Four men accused of felony assault in shootings near protesters' encampment.
New Hope police chief reveals new details of terrifying night at City Hall

New Hope police chief reveals new details of terrifying night at City Hall

Shooting that injured two officers at January awards ceremony left area around City Council chambers looking like a war zone, Chief Tim Fournier said.
Mankato officer led Mpls. police to protest shooting suspect

Mankato officer led Mpls. police to protest shooting suspect

The new information, detailed in a search warrant application, came as officials got an extension until Monday to file charges in the case.
3 men in custody, 1 released in 4th Precinct protest shooting

3 men in custody, 1 released in 4th Precinct protest shooting

Protesters marched from the 4th Precinct station to downtown Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon. A 23-year-old white man was arrested in Bloomington at 11:20 a.m. Later, two more men turned themselves in. A fourth has been released.
Peaceful rally over fatal Mpls. police shooting draws hundreds

Peaceful rally over fatal Mpls. police shooting draws hundreds

An emotional vigil and march culminated a week of protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man during a scuffle with Minneapolis police officers.
National NAACP leader cites 'criminal justice crisis' in Mpls.

National NAACP leader cites 'criminal justice crisis' in Mpls.

Cornell William Brooks, who will attend a rally and vigil Friday, said his mission is "to lend body and spirit" to the activists in the street.
Protesters, police have tense night outside 4th Precinct HQ

Protesters, police have tense night outside 4th Precinct HQ

As names of officers were released earlier Wednesday, Jamar Clark's death continued to spark angry protest.
Two Mpls. officers set to speak with BCA about fatal shooting

Two Mpls. officers set to speak with BCA about fatal shooting

The head of the Minneapolis police union said Jamar Clark wasn't in handcuffs, disputing witness accounts. Another day of protests sought answers in the now-fatal shooting.
Minnesota courts show gains in many areas, report says

Minnesota courts show gains in many areas, report says

The system met many goals, but the report found it still has some efficiency challenges.
Report measures Minnesota courts' performance

Report measures Minnesota courts' performance

The system met many goals, but the report found it still has some efficiency challenges.
Hennepin County sheriff wants more cuffs in court

Hennepin County sheriff wants more cuffs in court

Come December, every defendant who couldn't make bail and was thus jailed will be cuffed during pretrial courtroom hearings, provided the judge signs off.

Minneapolis man sues Scouts, claiming abuse

Steven Parker "suffered quietly and painfully for decades" after being sexually abused as a child, the suit says.

Man pleads guilty in death of New Hope bar patron

The man who fatally punched a New Hope bar patron pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday. Daniele Wright, 27, admitted in court that he had been…
25th anniversary sparks fresh look at Jacob Wetterling mystery

25th anniversary sparks fresh look at Jacob Wetterling mystery

A brainstorming session in the summer of 2014 led investigators to arrest a ''person of interest'' in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.
High court to review Allina's immunity defense in boy's suicide

High court to review Allina's immunity defense in boy's suicide

State's high court, for the first time, is reviewing that defense in a case where treatment wasn't forced on a suicidal patient.
Mother who caused Amber Alert facing criminal charge

Mother who caused Amber Alert facing criminal charge

Anoka woman who lost custody took toddler from day care.

Hennepin County sheriff to meet with Obama as part of group working to reduce crime, incarceration

Goals include reducing ambiguous mandatory minimum sentences and increasing diversion programs.

Minn. Supreme Court upholds state's limits on payday loans

The case involved an out-of-state lender that made payday loans to Minnesota borrowers at annual interest rates of up to 1,369 percent.
Jordan man charged with shooting, wounding his father and ex-girlfriend

Jordan man charged with shooting, wounding his father and ex-girlfriend

A Jordan man was charged Tuesday with multiple counts of attempted murder and assault for allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend and father in Chaska last week.…
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office military support eases minds of deployed employees

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office military support eases minds of deployed employees

From care packages to cutting lawns, Sheriff's Office volunteers help families any way possible.
Minnesota Court of Appeals rules BB gun is considered a firearm

Minnesota Court of Appeals rules BB gun is considered a firearm

Weapon possession landed felon back in prison; attorney says case to be appealed.
Sept. 23: Unprecedented lawsuit filed for victim of child sex exploitation

Sept. 23: Unprecedented lawsuit filed for victim of child sex exploitation

The suit filed by Twin Cities attorney Linda Miller, who has handled dozens of human trafficking cases, attempts to recover monetary damages for violations of federal laws regarding child sex tourism and trafficking.

Teen shot by Robbinsdale officer during attempted assault pleads guilty

A teenager shot by a Robbinsdale police officer during attempted assaulted in April pleaded guilty this week. Tania Harris, 18, of Robbinsdale, was charged with…
Minnesota's top law enforcers discuss community policing

Minnesota's top law enforcers discuss community policing

Police chiefs listen to speech from national task force leader.

Eden Prairie woman admits stealing $1.2M while working for mother

In the meantime, police continue to look into the death of her 12-week-old old son in mid-July.
Medical examiner confirms father shot family in Greenwood

Medical examiner confirms father shot family in Greenwood

On Saturday morning, the medical examiner confirmed that Brian S. Short died of a self-inflicted shotgun blast. The deaths of his family members have been ruled homicides.
Violating residency rules 'a big deal,' state's chief justice says

Violating residency rules 'a big deal,' state's chief justice says

Anoka County District Judge Alan Pendleton got a stern reception from Minnesota Supreme Court justices Tuesday at a hearing over charges that he violated judicial residency rules and tried to conceal it.
State trooper's attorney blasts prosecution's conduct in crash case

State trooper's attorney blasts prosecution's conduct in crash case

The lawyer for the trooper indicted on a count of manslaughter is accusing the Winona County attorney's office of using a confidential and coerced statement.

Aug. 25: Minnesota conference tackles problem of pain pill abuse

The dangers of addiction and the role of doctors were among topics at the multidisciplinary conference.
Gun-carrying permits reach historic levels in Minnesota

Gun-carrying permits reach historic levels in Minnesota

With one in 20 Minnesotans having a permit, related crimes have remained in check, but fears remain.
Mpls. police halt prostitution stings at massage parlors

Mpls. police halt prostitution stings at massage parlors

Minneapolis police officials said Thursday that they're ending the practice of sending undercover officers to investigate suspected prostitution in massage parlors after three male officers had sexual contact with the female suspects.
3 prostitution cases dismissed over behavior by Minneapolis officers

3 prostitution cases dismissed over behavior by Minneapolis officers

The cases were dismissed because officers had sexual contact with female suspects. Rulings by Hennepin County judges found the officers' actions constituted "outrageous government conduct."

Minn. Appeals Court rules NFL can ban off-duty officers from carrying guns at stadium

However, the ruling might not be the final word. Minnesota is the only state in which the NFL's 2013 ban has faced a legal challenge.

State trooper charged with sexually assaulting 2 women at party

The trooper was intoxicated and off-duty when the attacks occurred, the charges say.
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