Staff Directory 6370613

Randy Furst

Reporter | Minneapolis
Phone: 612-673-4224

Randy Furst is a Star Tribune general assignment reporter covering a range of issues, including tenants rights, minority rights, American Indian rights and police accountability. 

Furst has spent most of his 45-year career at The Minneapolis Star and later at the combined Star Tribune as a general assignment reporter. He has been nominated four times for the Pulitzer Prize (a series on the condition of migrant workers; questions regarding the innocence of two black men convicted of rape; the arrest of three Northwest Airline pilots for drinking and flying; and the exposure of a rogue Metro Gang Strike Force, which was forced to disband) and was a finalist twice.
Recent content from Randy Furst
New Orleans police officers took part in 2017 in a new peer-intervention training program, which teaches officers to police each other by intervening

Minneapolis police to get training to speak up over peers' excessive force

The program, called ABLE, is being used by 180 police departments nationwide. Some say it can change police culture.
Laurie Schmidt

Laurie Schmidt, Minnesota Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2020, dies at 57

Thurston Morton recalls the talk he gave to his class on the fundamentals of public speaking at Normandale Community College nearly two years ago. His…
Michael Rossman, left, and Chad Helton

Two top Hennepin officials work in California under COVID-inspired work policy

County officials are defending the policy.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis.

Minnesota judge rejects release for unvaccinated prisoner who cited COVID fear

Judge decries prisoner's vaccination refusal, BMI plan to get out early.
Delia Spencer-Hartwig, left, saw her income as a personal care attendant decimated during the pandemic. Without rental assistance, “I’d be homeles

With thousands behind on rent, new state law sets rules for aid

Federal funds could help as many as 50,000 Minnesotans with unpaid rent. Thanks to a new state law, they can't be evicted while their application for rental assistance is pending.
Linda Gallant

Attorney Linda Gallant, who died at age 75, was committed to social justice

She helped lawyers defend American Indian leaders on trial for their role in the occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973. She represented demonstrators, arrested for sit-ins outside the Honeywell Corp.
George Floyd’s family — from left nephew Brandon Williams, brother Philonise Floyd, sister-in-law Keeta Floyd, family lawyer Ben Crump, and brothe

Misdemeanor laws unfairly target people of color, a new documentary argues

The film, shown Wednesday in the Twin Cities, says people of color are often unjustly targeted.
Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea asks questions during oral arguments. ] LEILA NAVIDI • BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The

Face mask mandate to come off in Minnesota state courts next week

Chief Justice Gildea said that remote hearings were popular during the pandemic and that they will be studied for the future.
James Meredith, center, a key figure in the 1960s civil rights movement, greeted Tay Elhindi, right, president of Visual Black Justice, after a roundt

Civil rights icons inspire young Minnesota activists

James Meredith and Terrence Roberts urged young activists to carry on the fight for justice.
JIM GEHRZ ¥ Minneapolis/January 30, 2007/4:00PM Minneapolis attorney Randy Tigue has been well known in Minnesota for his work

Minnesota Supreme Court rejects reinstatement for controversial attorney Randall Tigue

The civil liberties attorney was last suspended in 2017 for mishandling his books.
William Bernard Butler

Minnesota Supreme Court suspends Minneapolis attorney indefinitely

Suspended attorney William Butler has had a long, contentious relationship with the state and federal judiciary
November 2, 1992 First snow of the season Snow dancing -- These two horses frolicked in a pasture along highway 41 near Chaska during Monday morning's

Retired Star Tribune photographer Charles Bjorgen dies at age 85

Chuck Bjorgen took thousands of photos, but a picture of two dancing horses was his favorite.
Kent Gardner, who retired in 2006 after a long newspaper career that included 36 years at the Star Tribune, died at 80.

G. Kent Gardner, longtime Star Tribune city editor, dies at 80

"He was as pure a newspaper guy for spot news as you will ever see."
St. Paul Realtor group withdraws as a partner in project to expose racist covenants

St. Paul Realtor group withdraws as a partner in project to expose racist covenants

Objections to the effort to expose racial covenants remain unclear.
Lisa Hanson

Albert Lea bar owner who defied COVID restrictions is arrested in Iowa

For nearly six weeks, Lisa Hanson has been in hiding after warrants were issued for her arrest.
The shooting happened about 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of S. Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis.

Cedar-Riverside store owner recounts robber fatally gunning down friend, fleeing

The gunman walked into the store about 7 p.m., pulled out a gun and pointed it at Hassan Shire, the owner. "Give me money, give me money," the gunman said, according to Shire.
Lisa Hanson is charged with keeping her wine bar open for six days in December and January in violation of Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency order.

Wine bar owner, wanted over alleged COVID violations, says she'll turn self in if conditions met

Lisa Hanson, 56, contends Walz shutdown order and warrant were unlawful.
Retired Hennepin County Judge LaJune Lange: “This is the first time in Minnesota that a jury has valued a Black man when killed in police custody.�

Chauvin guilty verdicts resonate among activists who have long fought for justice

But it's the opening round in a continuing struggle, they say.
People protested Thursday near the Brooklyn Center Police Department in response to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

Noor case raises questions about charge for ex-Brooklyn Center cop

Question of intent is key in debate over murder vs. manslaughter
The Interchange Wine & Coffee Bistro is in downtown Albert Lea. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of owner Lisa Hanson, who failed to turn up f

Albert Lea wine bar owner who resisted COVID restrictions goes on the lam

Albert Lea woman misses bail hearing on violations.
Former Minneapolis firefighters, from left, Mike Beaulieu, Skypp Lee, John Wong and Wayne Brown, all members of the department when it was desegregate

How the Mpls. Fire Department, once a symbol of racism, was finally desegregated

Fifty years ago, a lawsuit forced the Minneapolis Fire Department to hire nonwhites again.
Sr. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis.

Federal Judge Michael Davis dismisses ACLU-MN suit over COVID-19 conditions in federal women's prison in Waseca

Judge Michael Davis rejected the ACLU suit on procedural grounds and did not address claims of mistreatment.
George Floyd Square at East 38th Street and Chicago Saturday night, hours after a person was shot and killed near the intersection.

Two injured, one killed in rash of weekend shootings in Minneapolis

A single fatality occurred near George Floyd Square in Mpls.
Lois Zwettler

Lois Ireland Zwettler, artist whose paintings captured Wisconsin, dies of COVID at 92

Her paintings had a sense of authenticity, art critics said, capturing the farmlands and lives of people with an empathy that comes from being one…
Lorie Gildea (photo by Leila Navidi)

Minnesota courts will resume in-person criminal trials March 15

After a four-month hiatus caused by the pandemic, in-person criminal jury trials will resume in state district courts on March 15, Minnesota Supreme Court Chief…
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell says he wants candidates who go into policing for the “right reason.”

What does it take to become a police officer in Minnesota?

In light of recent issues with police officer conduct, one reader wanted to know what kind of training law enforcement officers get in the state.
Ty Jindra was ordered to be released from jail Monday after he was taken into custody last week for violating pretrial conditions that allowed him to

Former Mpls. cop accused of drug theft is ordered freed pending trial

An attorney for fired cop Ty Jindra persuades U.S. judge magistrate that he was not threatening a potential witness.
Anthony Legato with his son Vincent. Legato was shot and killed Oct. 9 by a Pine County deputy.

Prosecutor says Pine County sheriff's deputy was justified in a shooting death on Interstate 35

Pine County attorney says deputy's use of deadly force warranted after chase.
Three people were fatally shot inside a multiunit building on the 700 block of Jessie Street on Saturday afternoon in St. Paul.

3 dead in 'hellish' St. Paul shootings, including teen and child

A search was underway late Saturday for a suspect or suspects.
Ericka Khounedaleth: She filed a federal lawsuit after officers pointed guns at her and yanked her out of the car with no warning, her lawyer said.

Minneapolis settles first suit stemming from Floyd protests

The lawsuit is one of several legal actions alleging police misconduct during the Floyd protest, including an incident captured by a New York-based photojournalist.
Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Davis

U.S. magistrate judge recommends rejection of suit by Waseca women inmates over handling of COVID-19

U.S. Magistrate also said the court lacked the authority to release a large number of inmates as sought by the ACLU.
The closures will be extensive and include courthouses and facilities in Minneapolis (shown in a file photo), St. Paul Fergus Falls and Duluth

Citing threats, Minnesota closes federal court facilities through next week

Even judiciary staff will be barred from entering Minnesota's federal buildings.
Lorie Gildea (photo by Leila Navidi)

Minnesota will continue suspension of criminal jury trials but offer more exceptions

Courts will offer a few more exceptions to allow jury criminal trials and will allow for remotely
Minnesota State Patrol officers stood watch outside of the Third Precinct police headquarters in May.

Study: 'Less lethal' weapons used by police during George Floyd protests 'not appropriate,' caused significant injuries

Study deplores use of less-than-lethal weapons used against protesters during the George Floyd demonstrations in Minneapolis last year.
In the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, Chief Judge John Tunheim issued an order in December that continued a suspension of federal trials until Jan.

How are courts in Minnesota coping with the pandemic?

There were only five state jury trials in December, with COVID-19 protocols in place, but plenty of court hearings are happening, mostly remotely.
ACLU accuses Bureau of Prisons of 'deliberate indifference' for outbreak among Waseca inmates

ACLU accuses Bureau of Prisons of 'deliberate indifference' for outbreak among Waseca inmates

The ACLU asked a court to release inmates at prison hard hit by pandemic but a lawyer for prison said court lacked jurisdiction.
Aaryana Malcolm, who is in the fourth year of a 15-year sentence, was taken to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Mankato, where she said a doctor told her,

ACLU sues Waseca prison, claiming COVID spread like 'wildfire'

An inmate said it was a COVID "zombieland" inside the federal women's prison in Waseca

Minnesota farm leader Anne Kanten dies

Anne Kanten fought bank foreclosures, organized tractorcades to Washington, D.C., and mobilized support for state and federal policy reforms to protect small farmers both in…
Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell, right, spoke with Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, as they left a Minnesota House h

Judge rips Minnesota Corrections Department for failing to stem the surge in COVID-19 cases

Nearly half of the state inmates have contracted COVID-19 and a Ramsey District Judge says state prison officials have failed.
Judge LaJune Lange explored the basement of the former fire station she�d like to see given historic designation.

Former judge seeks historic designation for fire station that opened with all-Black crew

Until recently, hardly anyone knew that an aging building on Hiawatha Avenue in south Minneapolis was once a fire station that housed an all-Black fire…
Mary S. White

Mary S. White, longtime Minnesota peace activist, dies at 87

In the fall of 1981, 10 women gathered at Loretta's Tea Room in south Minneapolis to discuss the formation of a new antiwar organization, Women…
A Hennepin County courtroom in Minneapolis.

Citing COVID concerns, Minnesota courts suspend trials and in-person hearings for two months

Pause starts Nov. 30, also makes hearings remote.
On a scale of zero to 4, with 4 being a high virus risk, experts said Hennepin County courtrooms rate between 3 and 4.

Public Defender asks Hennepin County chief judge to halt out-of-custody hearings until pandemic eases

Risks for out-of-custody cases in Hennepin County are too great, she said.
Shawn Bates panhandles at the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and E. 46th Street in south Minneapolis in November 2020.

Is it legal to panhandle in the median of Minneapolis city streets?

The legality of panhandling on a median is a bit complicated. "Whether it's legal or not depends on how you conduct yourself," says Timothy Richards of the Minneapolis City Attorney's Office.
Voters checked in to vote at the Hennepin County Government Center, Oct. 27, 2020.

Minnesota voter site experiencing outages just days before election

The absentee ballot tracker is back up, but an ongoing outage involving the voter registration system could lead to longer lines at early voting sites. Another short outage was planned just after 3 p.m. Saturday to work on the problems.
Arianna Hunziker was “swaddled” the child for days and nights," according to her grandparents' lawsuit.

Red flags before 2-year-old foster child's death, her family's lawsuit says

Tot's grandparents say social worker, system and staff knew of troubles.

Federal judge in Minneapolis sentences Iranian businessman for violating U.S. sanctions

The operator of a financial services firm was sentenced to time served for violating U.S. sanctions on his country.
Shawn Olthoff was shot and permanently paralyzed from the waist down by a deputy in Moose Lake, Minn during a raid on his mobile home. Olthoff won a s

Unarmed Moose Lake man who was shot by deputy and paralyzed wins $6.2 million settlement

Carlton County payment may be the largest such settlement outside metro.
Judge Nancy Brasel stood in front of a plexiglass wall that will be used to separate jurors during trials. She will communicate with attorneys via hea

After a 6-month hiatus due to COVID, federal jury trials resume in Minnesota

A federal court judge suggests the new jury box in Minneapolis looks a lot like a penalty box at a hockey game.
In a 1985 photo taken by his wife, Dean Rebuffoni was silhouetted along the Iowa bank of the Mississippi River near Prairie Du Chien.

Dean Rebuffoni, longtime environmental journalist, dies at 77

A love for the outdoors led to a career covering the major battles and controversies over Minnesota's environmental issues.
Ethan Marks, left, and Soren Stevenson, right, were shot in the face by Minneapolis police with non-lethal projectiles in the wake of George Floyd’s

Two more lawsuits filed against Minneapolis over injuries caused by police after George Floyd killing

One said he was cleaning Lake St. in afternoon when he was hurt; other was at a protest.
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that Minneapolis police officers without provocation fired a non-lethal round into the face Graciela Cisneros

College student sues city of Minneapolis over eye injury from projectile during Floyd protests

A student claims a cop shot a projectile into her face after a protest over George Floyd's killing, then left without helping her.
A man surveyed the damage as he rode his bicycle down Nicollet Mall where several businesses were damaged in August after the suicide of a homicide su

Richfield man charged with arson in fire at Target HQ during Nicollet Mall unrest

He allegedly broke into Target headquarters and lit a fire in the mailroom before fleeing.
Hawo Mohamed Hassan, left, and Amina Farah Ali entering the federal courthouse during their trial.

Minn. woman who aided al-Shabab gets early release

Hawo Mohamed Hassan was scheduled to be released in January 2021.
Georgianna E. Herman

Georgie Herman, a beloved University of Minnesota librarian, dies of COVID-19 at 88

For nearly three decades, reference librarian Georgianna Herman was a prime resource for graduate students in industrial relations at the University of Minnesota. Herman oversaw…
Minneapolis police investigated a shooting, with multiple victims, on Aug. 28 in north Minneapolis.

U.S. attorney, other Minn. law enforcement officials assess work of task force now winding down

A command center will close and daily meetings will end, but U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said law enforcement representatives will continue to communicate virtually.
The entrance to Mall of America's new wing.

Man pleads guilty to false claim that his wife planned to bomb Mall of America

The Richfield man, using a false name, sent the letter to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in retaliation against his wife, who was in the naturalization process at the time, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Minneapolis, St. Paul men get long federal prison terms in separate child pornography cases

One man used his employment and volunteer work at schools to victimize at least 10 boys. The other collected porn while on probation for similar conduct.
Yuridia Hernandez Linares ORG XMIT: MIN2001101652540198

Woman gets 6 months in prison for helping to falsify robberies for visa status

Woman tried to help four people get special visas by falsely claiming they were victims of robbery by two Somali men.
The fire bombing at the Dakota County Service Center in Apple Valley occurred May 29, four days after George Floyd's death.

Savage, Minn., man pleads guilty to firebombing Dakota County building

The fire bombing occurred May 29, four days after George Floyd died while being restrained by police in south Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, seen on June 12, 2020, spoke to community activists in 2017 about a peer intervention training program use

Mpls. chief talked about duty to halt police misconduct years before Floyd death

In 2017, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo met with a small group of community activists who urged him to adopt a training program that…
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, shown in February.

Minnesota joins suit to protect election mail

Suits allege new Postal Service policies could slow down delivery of ballots in November.

Minnesota man sentenced to 35 years for child porn, 'sextortion'

A 21-year old man threatened rape and murder if underage girls did not send him explicit video and photos of themselves
Jim Miller, who spent 35 years working at the U.S. Postal Service, said his former colleagues are “aghast” at policies.

In battle over mail-in voting, the mail in Minnesota is running late

With plenty of examples of slow mail delivery in the Twin Cities, some customers feel as if they have become collateral damage.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building in Washington.

3 Nigerians indicted in cyber-fraud case involving stolen Ceridian W-2s

Three Nigerian nationals stole W-2 and other personal information from Bloomington firm as part of a tax fraud scheme.
Lois Riess

Lois Riess pleads guilty to murder and is sentenced to life without parole

Already convicted of a Florida murder, she pleaded guilty to killing her husband in Blooming Prairie.
Minneapolis man gets 33 years for sex trafficking

Minneapolis man gets 33 years for sex trafficking

Man operated a sauna in northeast Minneapolis and trafficked in young women and girls, prosecutors said.
A child raised her fist in the air for a photo at George Floyd's memorial outside Cup Foods.

Man sues Minneapolis police officer for allegedly shoving him to the ground near Floyd memorial

The officer was initially not identified in the suit but was named in an amended complaint.
Derrick Spillman

Man charged with committing four armed robberies in Twin Cities last Friday

Derrick Lee Spillman is accused of robbing two Holiday gas stations, a Speedway and a Subway over a 9-hour period.
Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao left a hearing at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on July 21, 2020.

Fired Mpls. officer Tou Thao seeks dismissal of charges in Floyd's killing

His lawyers argue that county prosecutors have failed to show Thao knew that Derek Chauvin and the other officers were going to commit a crime.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents George Floyd's family, announced in a press conference that the family of Floyd is suing the city of Minneapolis an

Floyd family seeks 'financially prohibitive' precedent in suit vs. Minneapolis, officers

The lawsuit contends that the officers used deadly force in non-deadly circumstances and that a lack of proper training and departmental culture led to George Floyd's death.
"Today is a really good day and I am honored to be here," Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, said at a news conference Monday, July 13. She added: "There are ma

Long fight over NFL team's name hits home in Minnesota

American Indian leaders and longtime allies hailed a victory many felt was long overdue after more than 30 years of protests over the nicknames of sports teams that have been condemned as racist.
Isak Abdirahman Aden was fatally shot by law enforcement on July 2, 2019. His sister Sumaya Aden, the trustee of his estate, has filed a federal wrong

Family of Somali-American man sues over his shooting death by police in Eagan in 2019

Dakota County attorney concluded the shooting of Isak Aden was justified.

Arson charges dropped against woman arrested in burning of St. Paul store after George Floyd's killing

The 19-year-old's attorney says video showed that she was not involved in the arson at St. Paul health supplement store.
Judge Donovan Frank of the U.S. District Court in St. Paul

Judge lets suit go forward against Rochester cop, citing potentially 'racist' remarks

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank mentions George Floyd and Philando Castile in declining to dismiss the case.