The Trayvon Martin of Minnesota: Terrance Franklin

On May 10, 2013 a man was shot in the basement of a Minneapolis home. He took 5 gun shots to the back of the head and 2 shots to the back. He died at the scene. After an extensive investigation by the police concluded that the shooting was justified. How can 7 shots in the back be a justifiable killing?

In 2002 the person that shot Terrance was involved in the choking death of Christopher Burns. No criminal charges were filed in that case either. The city of Minneapolis paid the family of Christopher Burns 300,000 to settle the excessive force case against the choker because he was Lucas Peterson, a Minneapolis police officer.

Since he was hired in 2000 Lucas has accumulated 13 excessive force complaints against him and has cost the city $700,000 in court settlements. Also during this time he has received 3 officer of the year awards in the fourth district and twice been awarded the department’s Medal of Valor.

The Minneapolis police were called for a suspicious person driving in a neighborhood who matched a description of  a robbery suspect. That suspect ran from the cops and crashed a car. The neighborhood was cordoned off by the police and they searched for the suspect.

After lift the quarantine was lifted a Minnesota Public Radio News producer, Bickal, found the back door of his house broken into. He told the cops and they came and entered the basement. In an article by MPR News she is quoted “I could hear them yelling. At one point, my neighbor and I heard them yell, ‘you’re not getting out of there’ something like that, to the guy.”

A witness from across the street took footage where officers seem to be heard using the term “N-word” at the time of the shooting.  2 Officers were shot in their legs by an officer’s weapon and Terrance was shot in 7 times in the back.

Accounts have varied since the incident. Some have included a canine unit, some don’t. Some have one gun firing all bullets some two but all bullets were fired from police weapons. Anonymous sources have been the only information source. Only reason we know that he was shot in the back is that Terrance’s father was allowed to see the body.

The police investigation did not question some of the officers involved in the shooting until over a week after the incident. The investigation was concluded over one month ago and still nothing official has been released to the family or the public. The medical examiner’s report and autopsy have not been released. The police investigation was handed over to the County Attorney Mike Freeman who has presented it to a grand jury.

His parents are still waiting to put to rest their beloved son of 22 years. They can’t tell Terrance’s son what happened to his father. After more than 60 days of waiting the family knows nothing official about their beloved son’s death. The family waits, the community waits for the officials that are there to protect them to even share what they know about what happened.

Members of the community march with anger as the lack of information leaves a hole filled with anger and suspicion. The community, on fliers and the web, have been saying this

What do we want?

· We want you to put yourself in Franklin’s parents Walter and Sheila’s shoes. You would want someone to join you in getting justice if your kid was killed unlawfully by the police.

· We want you to stand in solidarity with us in our effort to get justice.

· We want Peterson who has cost the city $700,000 and has been named in 13 excessive force complaints, including the death of a citizen in 2002, to be arrested, indicted and charged.

· We want Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to do what he usually does, which is prosecute those who have acted unlawfully. We want Peterson arrested and charged just as any other citizen would be who killed someone unlawfully.

If you want information or to show support:
Website: http://justiceforterrancefranklin.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForTerranceFranklin
Twitter: #Justice4Terrance
For more info call 251-403-0388

I quick timeline of what police have said about the incident to the press has evolved from more than one officer shooting to just one and reports of a police dog come and go. June 7th is when the police report was done and not released to police.  Since then they story hasn’t changed.

May 11 Pioneer Press: Preliminary reports indicate that the suspect was involved in an intense struggle with officers, including the police dog, and that at some point the man tried to gain control of an officer’s firearm, an MP5 submachine gun, according to police… It has not been determined who fired the gun and how many times it was shot, according to police.

May 12 MPR: Minneapolis police now say the suspect was fighting officers and a police dog when he tried to get control of an officer’s firearm, and shots were fired. Police say they don’t know who fired yet.

May 13 MPR: Two officers were shot after they confronted Franklin in a home in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Police have said Franklin tried to grab an officer’s gun during a struggle. Investigators are still trying to determine who fired the shots that struck the officers and killed Franklin.

May 16 MPR: Police say after being cornered in the basement, Franklin fought with Minneapolis Police officers Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro, grabbing at one of their Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns. However, police say they still have not determined who shot whom, nor will they disclose if Franklin had his own gun.

May 31 Pioneer Press: Franklin allegedly grabbed one of the officer’s submachine guns and fired, wounding officers Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro in the legs. The officers fired at Franklin. Officials have not said how many times he was struck;

June 7 Star Tribune: Officer Luke Peterson was identified by sources with knowledge of the investigation as the police officer who fired the fatal shot. The sources told the Star Tribune that officers were struggling with Franklin, 22, in a cramped basement room when he reached for an officer’s MP5 machine pistol and squeezed the trigger as the officer held the gun, firing at least two shots that struck two officers in their legs.

Peterson stepped between the officer who had the MP5 and Franklin, who was trying to get another shot off, the sources said. Peterson then fired back, killing Franklin, according to the sources.

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