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
Joe Rigert

Joe Rigert, award-winning Star Tribune investigative reporter, dies at 91

Rigert won many state and national awards for public service reporting during 35 years with the Minneapolis newspaper.
Audience members responded Wednesday as the Minneapolis City Council’s public health and safety committee voted to recommend approval of the proposa

Mpls. council committee overrides critics, approves proposed police oversight commission

Most speakers at a public hearing denounced the proposal to revamp the civilian police oversight process.
More than 1,000 people walked through downtown Minneapolis on Feb. 5, 2022, to protest the shooting death of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police. The Cit

Debate stirs as Minneapolis council vote nears on proposed police oversight reforms

Activists and past leaders of the city's civilian review process say the proposed changes fail to tackle some of the current system's most serious shortcomings involving police misconduct.
Amwati Pepi Mckenzie

Man convicted in 1992 murder of Minneapolis police officer to remain in prison

Amwati Pepi Mckenzie, whose life sentence was reviewed for possible supervised release Tuesday, was one of four men convicted in 1993 in Haaf's murder in south Minneapolis.
Amwati Pepi Mckenzie

One of four men convicted in 1992 Mpls. cop murder up for release

Amwati Pepi Mckenzie faces a hearing Tuesday to consider whether he should be granted supervised release — an outcome opposed by a number of police.
In 2019, Gov.-elect Tim Walz, meeting in 2019 with Jesse Ventura, a former governor of Minnesota.

Ventura says Walz pledged to him quick action on legalizing marijuana

"That was one of many reasons why I endorsed Gov. Walz," the former governor said Friday. "He would legalize cannabis, whereas Republicans are the ones stopping it."
Tracy Phillips, left, and Jake Wylie were forced to move out of Great River Landing to a rooming house in downtown Minneapolis that lacks the same ame

Two dozen formerly incarcerated men were moved out of transitional housing — and no one said why

Authorities allege criminal activity at Great River Landing, but the displaced men say they weren't given any specifics.
Ramone Brown is now suing Ty Jindra and the city of Minneapolis in Hennepin County District Court, accusing them both of violating his civil rights as

'I thought I was going to be George Floyd before George Floyd,' says man stopped, cuffed by Minneapolis officer

Ramone Brown sues Minneapolis, former officer after he was pulled over for no reason and car searched.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday a lawsuit against Fleet Farm for allegedly selling firearms to straw purchasers. He wa

Fleet Farm accused of negligently selling guns to straw buyers

Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing in Hennepin County District Court. At least one of those guns acquired in such a "straw purchase" was used in a 2021 shootout at Truck Stop bar in St. Paul
Chinese billionaire Richard Liu

Experts: Richard Liu likely paid big price to settle suit by student accusing him of rape

Legal experts believe that Chinese billionaire Richard Liu paid a huge price to settle the lawsuit brought against him by a former University of Minnesota…
Supporters of Jingyao Liu rallied Sunday, Oct. 2, outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where Liu’s lawsuit accusing Chinese billionaire Ri

Billionaire settles U student's suit alleging 2018 rape in Mpls.

The settlement was announced late Saturday, just before the civil trial in Hennepin County was set to begin.
Richard Liu

Jury set for trial of Chinese billionaire Richard Liu, accused of raping University of Minnesota student

Opening statements are expected Monday in the civil trial, held in Hennepin County District Court. founder Richard Liu in Shanghai in 2015.

Jury selection begins today in sexual assault lawsuit against Chinese billionaire

Jurors will decide whether Richard Liu plied a University of Minnesota student from China with alcohol and raped her, as she claims, or whether the student fabricated the accusation in hopes of a financial windfall.
Regene “Reggie” Radniecki

Reggie Radniecki, groundbreaking Minnesota news photographer, dies at 74

A native of Thief River Falls, Minn., she was honored numerous times for her work in her 18 years with the Minneapolis Tribune.
Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa navigated the Golden Rule on Wednesday with Tom Bauch, a Veterans for Peace member and Air Force veteran, on the St. Cr

64 years later, the Golden Rule takes to the water again to challenge nuclear arms

A crew will sail down the Mississippi, up the East Coast and through the Great Lakes to back the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
Chinese billionaire Richard Liu is accused of raping a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

Student's sexual assault lawsuit against Chinese billionaire can proceed

The civil trial of Richard Liu is scheduled to begin this month.
Dennis Jones

Dennis Jones, guitar playing steelworker and union activist, dies at 85

His songs appeared on a professionally produced album supporting strikers at Hormel in the 1980s.
Independent-Republican gubernatorial candidate Jon Grunseth sparred with then-Gov. Rudy Perpich during the 1990 debate on Twin Cities Public Televisio

Did a TV debate decide one of Minnesota's most scandalous elections?

A sex scandal during the 1990 gubernatorial election resulted in a last-minute candidate becoming governor in an upset.
Mitch Walking Elk, who has been a member of the American Indian Movement since 1974, blessed participants during a ceremony in Minneapolis on Thursday

Seeking release of Leonard Peltier, AIM launches 'Justice Walk' from Minneapolis to Washington

Peltier is imprisoned in connection with the murder of 2 FBI agents in 1975.
Billionaire Richard Liu is accused of raping a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

Supporters of U student suing billionaire in alleged rape are silenced in China

Social media accounts sharing information sympathetic to the student are being suspended or shut down.
Rosemary Zeno, owner of Royal Zeno Shoe Shine, and Johnny Murphy at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Longtime shoeshine stand loses concession at MSP airport

Rosemary Zeno, who operated the small Black-owned family company, was in tears after the vote.
Rosemary Zeno, owner of Royal Zeno Shoe Shine, with employee Johnny Murphy, 77, at one of Zeno’s three Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport sh

Twin Cities shoeshine firm again at risk of losing its longtime MSP airport spot

Black-owned shoeshine stand started at the airport in 1969.
Billionaire Richard Liu is accused of raping a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

Chinese billionaire's company isn't off the hook in U of M student's rape lawsuit

Judge Edward Wahl also said the University of Minnesota student can seek punitive damages against billionaire Richard Liu.
Carlson School of Management Deputy Associate Dean and Prof. Haitao “Tony” Cui

University of Minnesota associate dean's behavior questioned in student's rape case

A U official helped find a lawyer for a Chinese billionaire after a student alleged she was raped, according to court filing.
Marie Braun spoke at a news conference in St. Paul called by a group of local protest organizations seeking permits to protest during the 2008 Republi

Marie Braun, lifelong peace and justice activist, dies at 87

The thousands of "No war in Iraq" signs that popped up in neighborhoods were courtesy of Marie and husband John.
Jon and Karli Neilson with their daughter Parker, 6, in front of their home in St. Paul. They recently discovered the deed to their home contains a ra

Racial covenants found embedded in Ramsey County deeds

The research is far from complete, but the Mapping Prejudice group plans to launch a dialogue about the consequences of racial covenants in Ramsey County as it has in Hennepin County.
The Minnesota State Capitol

Police organization opposes bill to resolve surging statewide PTSD claims

The bill requires first responders to undergo treatment before they would be eligible for permanent disability pension benefits.
Ty Jindra arrived with his mother, Lori Jindra, to be sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in St. Paul.

Ex-Minneapolis cop gets three years for stealing drugs during traffic stops

Ty Jindra was convicted last year and later admitted to the thefts.
Jim Klobuchar, 2015.

Former Star Tribune columnist Jim Klobuchar celebrated at memorial service

He died May 12, 2021, at the age of 93, and was buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The public service was postponed until Friday due to COVID-19.
Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy, chair of the POST board, and board Executive Director Erik Misselt testified in 2020 at a legislative hea

Bad Minnesota cops on notice as crackdown in the works

The POST board approved new rules this spring that would allow it to revoke the license of an officer who violates its conduct guidelines, whether or not the misbehaving officer has been charged or convicted of a crime.
Kathryn Jeannette “Jennie” Lightfoot

Kathryn 'Jennie' Lightfoot, who played key role in Twin Cities Native American community, dies at 83

Kathryn Jeanette "Jennie" Lightfoot devoted a lifetime of service to the American Indian community in the Twin Cities. For decades, she played a central role…
Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement Friday at at the University of Minnesota, which will host events for the 2026 Special Olympics USA.

Special Olympics USA games coming to Twin Cities in 2026

The Twin Cities hosted the 1991 International Special Olympics, which drew nearly 130,000 fans over seven days of competition in 16 sports. About 6,000 athletes from around the world participated.
Crystal Police Lt. Derrick Hacker in the evidence room at the Crystal Police Department, 2016.

Crystal police lieutenant charged with unauthorized searches of ex-girlfriend's driving records

Derrick Hacker is accused of looking up data of ex-girl friend and lying to investigators.
Former Minneapolis police officer Ty Jindra

Former Mpls. police officer admits drug use, pleads for mercy as he awaits sentence

Jindra's attorneys insisted at his trial that he was innocent and had been unfairly targeted by federal officials.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, seen in 2017, called the new policy on remote hearings “one of the most important and consequent

Minnesota court officials make some remote hearings permanent

Lawyers are concerned about the question of public access under the new plan for Minnesota courts.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, left, wants to coordinate a metrowide effort to fight violent crime — with a focus on carjacking — that would

Sheriff's plan to lead metrowide team gets a mixed reception

The Senate bill would have Ramsey County reporting to the commissioner of public safety, but the commissioner knew nothing about it.
Chad Montrie

Tuesday Read: 'Whiteness in Plain View,' by Chad Montrie

NONFICTION: Minnesota's long anti-Black history is focus of new book.
Minneapolis police outside the Third Precinct station during a 2020 protest. Since the police murder of George Floyd, 130 Minneapolis officers have ma

As police claims of PTSD soar, officials scramble for solutions

In Minneapolis, the city has already paid out more than $20 million in workers' comp claims to cops.
Crow Bellecourt, Clyde Bellecourt’s son, led singing by the drum group Midnite Express outside the Capitol.

American Indian groups rally at Capitol for state money for 12 new facilities

They're pushing for legislation that would spend nearly $84 million on a series of projects.
Soren Stevenson, who was struck before curfew while standing with other protesters on a closed ramp on May 31, 2020, spoke about the settlement Wednes

George Floyd protester receives $2.4 million payout from Minneapolis after losing eye to a police projectile

Soren Stevenson sued the city in federal court after he was hit by a 40mm blunt impact projectile fired by police officer.
Chad Helton

Former Hennepin County Library Director Chad Helton fails to win Seattle library job

The board unanimously chose Tom Fay, never mentioned Helton in public comments.
Chad Helton had been under fire for choosing to run the library system from his home in Los Angeles.

Hennepin County Library Director Chad Helton resigns

As part of a settlement agreement, Hennepin County will pay Helton $60,000 for "emotional damages."
Michelle Gross, founder of Communities United Against Police Brutality, spoke at a Feb. 4 news conference by Communities United Against Police Brutali

Michelle Gross and the Minnesota group she leads seek to hold police accountable

The president of Communities United Against Police Brutality says she believes in policing "that serves the needs of the community."
Chad Helton

In Seattle interview, Hennepin library director acknowledges residency policy

Helton was interviewed virtually for the job of chief librarian in Seattle on Thursday.
Hennepin County Library Director Chad Helton has taken a voluntary leave of absence.

Library Director Chad Helton on leave from Hennepin library system

Helton has taken criticism for directing the library system from his home in Los Angeles.
Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman introduced her leadership picks on Jan. 26 at City Hall. Several officers, including David Garman, wer

Once-fired officer promoted to Mpls. police training director

David Garman was one of several officials with checkered pasts who have been elevated by interim Chief Huffman.
Barbara Teed holds a photo of her father, Arnold Weigel, in her home in Bloomington. Weigel was a Realtor who was forced out of the business in the 19

History Theatre's 'Not for Sale' unearths a painful episode of racism in South St. Paul

A man's battle against bigotry becomes the subject of a play inspired by his daughter.
From left, former MPD officer Tou Thao, attorney Robert Paule, attorney Natalie Paule, attorney Tom Plunkett, ex-officer J. Alexander Keung, ex-office

Police training, policies under microscope in ex-MPD cops' trial

Unlike Derek Chauvin's trial, which focused on his actions in the killing of George Floyd, this time the Minneapolis Police Department's culture and practices are under the microscope.
Bloomington police arrest man who crashed stolen truck in squad cars

Bloomington police arrest man who crashed stolen truck in squad cars

Truck was stolen from Brooklyn Park dealership
Body of man found on street on St. Paul's East Side

Body of man found on street on St. Paul's East Side

The man was declared dead at the scene.
Carjacking reported outside Brooklyn Park strip mall COVID testing site

Carjacking reported outside Brooklyn Park strip mall COVID testing site

No one was injured, and the vehicle has been recovered.
Hennepin County Library Director Chad Helton is a finalist to run the Seattle Public Library.

Hennepin County Library director is finalist for top job with Seattle Public Library

Helton has drawn criticism for his decision to direct the library from Los Angeles.
8th St. Market owner Woods Halley prepared to open. The market was robbed six times in November and now won’t accept cash from customers.

Store owners wary, weary as robberies climb in Minneapolis

Some stores have been hit several times, making workers quit and scaring away customers.
Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, died Tuesday at age 85.

Clyde Bellecourt, AIM co-founder and longtime civil rights leader, dies

One of the most important leaders in the history of the American Indian struggle for civil rights, he was 85.
Activist Mel Reeves delivered a prepared statement to the media in 2017 in response to the shooting of 25-year-old Chard Robertson, of Minneapolis, by

Longtime civil rights activist Mel Reeves dies of complications from COVID

Reeves, 64, was at the forefront of community activism.
Lowell Erdahl, former bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Lowell Erdahl, former Lutheran bishop and social justice advocate, dies at 90

He was an outspoken advocate on issues of peace, social justice and inclusion of women and gays in the ministry.
Hennepin County Library Director Chad Helton, who was hired in 2020, moved to California this summer saying he could perform his job through video con

Hennepin County library director may need to live in state under new policy

The library chief can ask for exemption, but new policy says if your staff interacts with the public, you can't live out-of-state.
Damik Bryant, brother of Daunte Wright, and Emajay Driver, Wright’s best friend, react after a guilty verdict was delivered in the trial of ex-Brook

Wright family, activists cheer Kimberly Potter verdict

A crowd erupted in cheers outside the Hennepin County Courthouse on Thursday as the two guilty verdicts were announced in former police officer Kimberly Potter's manslaughter trial for shooting Daunte Wright.
Toshira Garraway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, spoke Friday at a news conference in support of Daunte Wright famil

Some thought Kimberly Potter's emotional testimony was genuine; others say she was acting

Those with a law enforcement background had a different take from community activists on the Potter trial
Lisa Hanson

Albert Lea restaurant owner found guilty of violating state COVID mandate

A jury of three women and three men took only an hour of deliberation to convict Lisa Hanson.
Lisa Hanson

Albert Lea bar owner goes on trial for resisting state COVID mandates

Lisa Hanson, who is representing herself in court, again found herself battling officials in the legal establishment, who found many of her arguments without merit or in violation of law or court procedure.
Travis Jordan

Would Travis's Law have helped Travis Jordan in 2018? Maybe not, some say

Minneapolis mental health responders will not go into situations where violence is possible until police consider it safe.
Latora Thompson, who previously rented from landlord Steven Meldahl, poses for a photo outside her new home in Minneapolis on Friday.

Rent escrow requirement prevents tenants from challenging poor living conditions, lawyers say

Landlords benefit from a court directive that is a violation of due process, housing litigators say.
Steven Meldahl, outside one of his houses in north Minneapolis in 2014.

Minneapolis landlord fined $133,500 for 'horrific' conditions of 'biblical plague proportions'

The judge issued a permanent injunction to stop the landlord from engaging in illegal and deceptive practices.
Ty Jindra

Paramedic's tip led to Minneapolis cop's conviction

Drugs taken in unlawful searches.
Ty Jindra

Ex-Minneapolis officer found guilty of stealing drugs during traffic stops

Ty Jindra, who was fired by the Minneapolis police in 2020, was found guilty of 5 of 11 counts of a federal indictment.
Ty Jindra

Case of an ex-Minneapolis cop who allegedly stole drugs goes to the jury

A federal jury will decide whether Ty Jindra seized drugs in good faith or was a thief.
“I belong to a culture, the Dakota culture. I carry it with my feet,” Emmett Eastman Sr. said of marathoning.

Emmett Eastman, Native American marathoner who ran to carry the message of the Dakota culture and social justice, has died

For nearly half a century, Emmett Eastman Sr., a Native American activist, ran marathons."My runs represent a prayer step," he said in 2018, on the…
Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality, along with other community members, announced that canvassers had so far gathered about

Amid federal probe, police reform canvassers say they've gathered 1,100 complaints

They plan to turn them over to the Justice Department.
After the shooting in February, a worker placed sheets of plywood over windows at the Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo. On Monday, Oct. 11, the suspect

Minnesota man indicted in February slaying at Allina clinic

Gregory Ulrich remains in the Wright County jail; a trial date has not been set.
A rock carving at the Jeffers Petroglyphs site in southwestern Minnesota. It is one of the most extensive petroglyph sites in the world.

Which Indigenous tribes first called Minnesota home?

Archeologists and historians believe Native Americans have lived in Minnesota since the glaciers receded 13,000 years ago.
Glennis (Andresen) Ter Wisscha in 2002, one of the Willmar 8, a group that struck the bank in Willmar, Minnesota.

Glennis Ter Wisscha, one of the Willmar 8, dies at 62

As a 19-year-old, she was propelled into the national spotlight when she and seven other female bank workers went on strike in December 1977 over sex discrimination.
Ali Fuhrman, right, AFSCME president of Local 2822, and other members demanded more library staff and funding outside of the East Lake Library in Minn

Hennepin County Library to increase hours of operation, but workers say there's not enough staff

They say more are workers needed as Hennepin County plans to extend hours of operation.
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…