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Continued: No charges or discipline for Minneapolis officer in fatal motorcycle crash

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 15, 2013 - 1:02 PM

A squad car dashboard-camera video taken from a police vehicle that was following Young shows the motorcycle sliding through the intersection and slamming into the rear passenger side of the SUV.

Neither Romero nor Torrejon-Villamil wore helmets. She was injured but survived. No drugs or alcohol were involved in the collision. Romero did not have a valid Minnesota driver’s license or a motorcycle permit or endorsement.

Not grossly negligent

An Oct. 18 letter from the Hennepin County attorney’s office to Assistant Minneapolis Police Chief Matt Clark spells out the legal arguments behind the county and city authorities’ decision to clear Young from criminal prosecution.

Despite the State Patrol’s finding that Young was partly responsible for the collision, prosecutors found that his actions fell short of the “gross negligence” standard necessary for a felony charge; even a misdemeanor charge would require that Young’s driving demonstrated a “willful or wanton disregard” for others. The prosecutor said Young’s driving didn’t meet that definition.

Even if it had, it’s unclear if he would have been charged with the misdemeanor: the law does not apply to emergency vehicles responding to a call.

Speaking to the press Thursday, Harteau said she intentionally wore civilian clothes to the news conference.

“I do that purposefully to remind everyone that behind our uniforms we are human beings,” she said, “who even when making good faith efforts and responding to calls for help, an event such as this unfortunately can happen.”

 

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

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  • Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau

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