Comments: How repeat rapists slip by police

Read the 41 comments in response to the second part of the Denied Justice series.

Ela1972 AUG. 3, 18 1:15 PM

Watching the video of Amber Mansfield was SO sad. What can she possibly do with her life? I also keep wondering how she can survive as a stay-at-home mom. She's 38 and there is no mention of a job or means of support.

mgresist JUL. 29, 18 12:07 PM

I also want to thank the Star Tribune and reporters Bjorhus, Stahl and Webster for excellent coverage of this important issue. Between this series of articles and Andy Mannix' coverage of the coerced ketamine injections scandal, the Strib is really on the cutting edge of informing the community.

mgresist JUL. 29, 18 12:05 PM

I want to express my deep gratitude and respect to Ms. Mansfield for courageously sharing her story and for stepping up to ensure that rapist Washington was convicted even after being treated so incredibly disrespectfully by "Million Dollar Mike" Sauro and his ilk.

ringneck1 JUL. 26, 18 9:41 PM

Mike Sauro has cost the City millions in unnecessary force suits over the years. Doesn't surprise me that he can't "remember".

sporty1 JUL. 26, 18 4:32 PM

Horrible story but I don't see things ever improving with the current war on police.

PeterAG JUL. 26, 18 3:47 PM

Before we point fingers at and blame law enforcement - let's look at the court and jail system. Too many perps are given plea deals becuase it is quick and easy. We complain about over-crowding in jails and prisons but we have a lot of criminals and a greater population to deal with. If one judge or legislator would just have a personal experience on this matter - God forbid - the sentencing and plea deals would change by law for sure. Repetitve perps usally get through the sytem becuase the right people do not care - judges - prosecutors - mayors - city councils. Their piles are very high of court cases and crimes or political issues. Priortizing crime is a problem. Most importantly, crimes against people seem to have taken a back seat. Why - becuase in my opinion cities like MPLS do not want to be too hard on criminals - race - creed - color - ethnicity - whatever. If we would just look at the crime and the criminal and not get hung up on races etc - we could make a difference. But "NO" we cannot do that any longer. Too many of any race or ethnicity are being jailed. Well, maybe too many of a race or ethnicity are committing crimes. Stop being so PC!!!! Women in MN deserve just as much respect and attention in our society as do immigrants, diverse populations, specific religious groups, and LGBTQ. How about treating everyone equal under the law? You break a law - you pay a penalty. Of course Mayor Frey wants police to stop arresting on-street pot sales beause too many are directed at a specific race. As we become more lawless - the vulnerable population lose their rights.

silverlight JUL. 26, 18 3:20 PM

Cops overworked? No, look at hundreds taking time to honor a fallen prison cop, which has zero to do with the public or our police dept. They have plenty of time for due diligence on these forgotten rape cases. If they can't handle the pressure then quit. Too many bad apples and weak superiors cast a shadow on all the good ones.

mark71 JUL. 26, 18 1:02 PM

Why wasn’t he executed? He should’ve never made it out of prison.

jweb1958 JUL. 26, 18 1:00 PM

The DFL has governed Minneapolis since way back when; for several years - until recently - the chief of police was a woman. You can't blame these problems using an identity politics lens.

flyha JUL. 26, 18 9:43 AM

The ineptitude of the MPD continues to baffle and dismay... it's a lingering blight on our city and needs to be addressed. I know there are good eggs in the dept, but why do so many bad examples keep recurring. It's a shame and embarrassment to our whole community!

boomerchick JUL. 26, 18 12:01 PM

@flyha I know. I've felt that way for a long time and wish I didn't.

cmssog JUL. 26, 18 9:17 AM

The same as Sunday's report...just astonishing the lack of professionalism from these law enforcement officers. I live in Minneapolis and am absolutely ashamed. There has been ZERO accountability for years of the Mpls police dept. Let's hope someone wakes up and holds these criminals accountable. These women deserve justice as well as compassion.

mrnngold JUL. 26, 18 8:37 AM

Mr. Washington should not have been released from Prison. He was high risk to offend and the Criminal Justice system failed. The police are being characterized and not doing their job. Cops put their lives on the line every day and don't get appreciation from the media. Walk a day in their shoes and see how much pressure they face day in and day out.

marathon2004 JUL. 26, 18 10:34 AM

@mrnngold In part laws need to be stricter, but did you even read the article? Not even looking to see that there are records on some of the ones that they decided not to do anything about. That is on the police.

ReadItAgainGenius JUL. 26, 18 10:46 AM

@mrnngold How do you think people like Washington end up in prison? It happens when law enforcement does their job thoroughly. It's tone deaf to make excuses for the police in an article that highlights corners being cut and a lack of compassion for victims.

fortypair JUL. 26, 18 11:08 AM

@mrnngold no, they did NOT do their job. As this story showed, lack of taking even the most basic investigative steps meant that a serial rapist stayed on the streets and raped more women. Don't try to paint the police as a victim of media attention here -- media partially exists to hold a spotlight to people and institutions in power that aren't behaving well. That's what STrib is doing, because victims and communities deserve so much better than this.

silverlight JUL. 26, 18 3:12 PM

@mrnngold correct, most cops are doing a great job but still a few bad apples are kept around due to union pressure, weak superiors and politics.

ChadBorman SEP. 3, 18 11:06 AM

@mrnngold So many things wrong in such a short comment. Let's begin here:
"Mr. Washington should not have been released from Prison. He was high risk to offend and the Criminal Justice system failed. "
He was convicted and sentenced for a previous crime. He served his sentence. The state is not allowed to incarcerate him beyond the length of his sentence just because he is a "risk to offend".
" The police are being characterized and not doing their job. "
Have you read the articles? Basic procedures in multiple rape cases were not followed: not assigning a rape case to an investigator, not conducting a criminal background check on a suspect, not interviewing a suspect or examining a crime scene. How much more information do you need before you realize that they aren't doing their job?

msimsi JUL. 26, 18 8:34 AM

I thought Mike Sauro's name was familiar. He was fired in the mid-1990s after an excessive use of force judgement cost the city $1,000,000, but filed a grievance and got his job back. Years after that, this article documents how he led the sex crimes unit that failed this investigation and left a rapist on the streets to beat and rape two more victims. He allows that Mansfield's criminal record might have affected the handling of the case.
For those who think the only problem is lack of resources, ask yourself if anything would change with hiring 100 more officers like Mr. Sauro.

deniselew JUL. 26, 18 7:44 AM

It takes seconds for even the public to pull someone's criminal record. There is NO excuse for the police not to check their background. People need to be fired.

maguay JUL. 26, 18 7:23 AM

This demonstrates that police departments are still "old boys clubs". We need more female officers.

momofboys2 JUL. 26, 18 12:11 AM

Are all/most of the rapists Black? That's the impression you've now given readers with the profile of this man. What are the demographics of the offenders? Can we ever reduce racial bias in reporting?

kmdole JUL. 26, 18 7:50 AM

@momofboys2 Go to the FBI's website and research your question on crime statistics in this country.

mahtomedi194 JUL. 26, 18 9:31 AM

@kmdole @momofboys2 Numbers don't lie.

PardonMe JUL. 26, 18 8:09 AM

@momofboys2 I did not get that impression at all. This case was highlighted because the detectives chose to do nothing and allowed the rapist to commit more rapes.

marathon2004 JUL. 26, 18 8:19 AM

@momofboys2 Well the second you point out the color then yeah, you keep bias in it making it about race.

gcatdl JUL. 26, 18 8:55 AM

@momofboys2 Pretty sure race has NOTHING to do with it.

ladytj102 JUL. 26, 18 11:12 AM

@momofboys2 This is the profile of one rapist. If you infer that means the majority of rapists are black, that's on you.

redeye12 JUL. 25, 18 7:16 PM

Is it a lack of funding? Is it a lack of training? Or could it be a utter lack of common sense? Or maybe, just maybe it is utter incompetence of state employees and bureaucrats.

MCMBurn JUL. 25, 18 8:38 PM

@redeye12 Maybe they will believe the women now. They haven't before.

yeolmet JUL. 26, 18 2:24 AM

@redeye12 don't equate the unique incompetence and corruption of the police with the yeoman's work many state employees do.

msimsi JUL. 26, 18 8:38 AM

@redeye12 The state employees are the ones who gave out the Level 3 notification and provided the computer systems allowing background checks that the local police didn't bother to use.

StPIrishMom JUL. 26, 18 9:59 AM

@redeye12 I really believe it has more to do with priorities. Police receive tons of money on confiscation of property in certain cases ie drugs and prostitution. They spend their resources on the most profitable cases. That and a lack of respect for human dignity, which is a big problem in our culture, not just the law enforcement community.

marathon2004 JUL. 26, 18 2:15 PM

@StPIrishMom @redeye12 Exactly. MN collects more revenue in it's confiscation programs that are direct violations of the 4th amendment than most other states that have the same policies. It's gross. That needs to change.

sallygirl JUL. 26, 18 12:35 PM

@redeye12 It's about not believing the women who are being assaulted. It's about judging victims. It's about blaming the victim just like victims of domestic violence - unless they are male. It's about misogyny. It's because we have a rape culture. It's because this crime - mostly committed by males against females - is not prioritized when decisions are made about the use of or the distribution of resources.