This four-part series on a public corruption investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department is based on public and confidential documents, interviews and audio recordings of federal wiretaps.
The documents are from the Minneapolis Police Department, the FBI, federal and state courts, and the offices of the Minneapolis city attorney, the Anoka County attorney and the Hennepin County sheriff.
They include: transcripts of Minneapolis police internal affairs unit interviews with police officers and officials, and with an informant in the public corruption probe; an FBI report recounting the investigation and confession of a police officer who accepted money from an FBI informant; the deposition of Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan in a civil suit brought by an officer; the memo of a Minneapolis police commander transferred after accusing the FBI of conducting an unfair investigation; a memo from the Minneapolis city attorney's office regarding that commander; a letter from the Anoka County attorney's office listing reasons for declining to charge a Minneapolis police lieutenant who was a target of the investigation; a federal indictment of a police officer who confessed to taking money after providing confidential information to an informant; overtime records of members of the Violent Offenders Task Force, a special Minneapolis police unit that participated in the public corruption investigation, and a racial discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court by five black officers in the Minneapolis Police Department, two of whom were investigated in the public corruption probe.
Reporters Paul McEnroe and Tony Kennedy interviewed more than two dozen people with knowledge of the investigation, which began in late December 2006. In some cases, those sources agreed to be interviewed only on the condition they remain anonymous out of fear their jobs could be put at risk.
He dangled a tantalizing tip: that some Minneapolis cops were corrupt, enabling the criminal enterprises of a major drug dealer and gang member, in return for cash and prostitutes. Was it true? That tip in 2006 sparked a massive public corruption probe that reverberates to this day.