More than 23 months after submitting a public records request to the St. Anthony Police Department, the City released voicemails from community members, the Hennepin County Sheriff, journalists, and the City's insurer from the days after the police shooting of Philando Castile. These are a few of them.
VOICEMAIL A resident in the area of the shooting of Philando Castile calls the Police Chief, saying they are fearful of leaving home. “I could be pulled over by one of your officers and shot," they say.
Sir, I'm calling you this morning as a citizen in the Falcon Heights area. I'm scared to leave my house. I'm scared to go to work. I don't know if I leave today to take my son to daycare and go to work, if I could be pulled over by one of your officers and be shot for following the law.
And then on top of that I don't even know if they shoot me for no apparent reason, or even for stating if I had something, would they even call EMTs or would somebody come to my attention right away, so I can live, so I can survive?
So yeah, sir, I'm just calling because I need to know what I should do. I'm scared to leave the house and I don't feel safe in the community protected by the -- the own people the own officers who are supposed to be here to protect and serve.
So I just want to know if you can give me some advice on what to do or how to do it. I would appreciate it. Like I said, I'm scared to leave the house. I don't know what's gonna happen. If you can help me out sir, I would appreciate it. Give me a call back.
VOICEMAIL Jennifer Bjorhus, a reporter at the Star Tribune, expresses frustration that law enforcement wasn't complying with the state's public records law, which provides that basic arrest and service data is public at all times.
Hi, Sergeant Mangseth, this is Jennifer Bjorhus over at the Star Tribune newspaper. Say, I need your help. We're kinda getting the back-and-forth here between the BCA and others on getting the basic incident report and the basic, you know, service call, et cetera, for the incident yesterday with Castile.
And these -- you know, this data is -- remains public and it's supposed to be made available to the public immediately. That is -- you know there's no exemption for there being an investigation being underway. Even with the BCA. They can have an investigation under way, yet the basic arrest data, et cetera, and service call data, remains public.
And so we would really like a copy of that, and we're not getting it. And so I'm appealing to you for this. I realize you're swamped. This is a crazy time. But if you can call me about this, I'd really appreciate it. 612-[redacted]. 612-[redacted]. Jennifer at the Star Tribune. Thank you.
VOICEMAIL Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek calls the police chief after the Philando Castile shooting, offering support. “The media comes and goes,” Sheriff Stanek says. “Others like [Black Lives Matter], well, they've got different agendas.”
Hey, good morning, Chief. Rich Stanek, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. About 10:30. Well, very sorry to see what happened last night. But I know that, uh, you know, the story has to be told.
Major Jeff Storms contacted me, asked me about resources for St. Anthony. I told him to help you out with whatever you might need. We're happy to do so. If you need something from me personally, don't hesitate to give me a call. This is my direct cell phone. 612-[redacted].
But remember, you know, the men and women in your agency, as well as your Council, and the residents out in your community are looking to you for that key leadership. The media comes and goes. Others like BLM, well, they've got different agendas. You've got a wealth of experience and knowledge up there. So, I'll leave it to you to call the shots and decide what it is you might need. And then, like I said we'd be happy to assist, just as we've done previously.
I hope things go better this afternoon than they did overnight for you. Again, my direct cell phone number, Chief, is 612-[redacted]. Take care.
VOICEMAIL A woman calls the St. Anthony Police Department, stating that she is white and knows her daughters' black friends are frequently stopped by police. “I would like to see something done about the culture," she says.
My name is Bonnie [redacted]. I'm a 57-year-old Caucasian woman living in your community. I drive by every day where the young man was shot last night. I am absolutely horrified at the way police consistently treat young African American men. My daughters have friends that are African Americans in the high schools in your area who get pulled over all the time for doing nothing wrong, when their white counterparts do not get pulled over all the time. I would like to see something done about the culture. It is plain wrong, and it's not just the Black people who are upset about this. If you could call me back, I'm a 651-[redacted]. Remember, you guys are working for us, and we expect more.
VOICEMAIL “You have a murderer in your police force,” says a caller advocating for punishment for Officer Jeronimo Yanez.
Hey Mark. You have a murderer in your police force. This will not -- this man needs to be punished. This man needs to be fired, he needs be jailed, he needs to be thrown away for the rest of his life. He killed a man. Cops do it all the time. Show me -- why was he even asking the passenger for an ID? He had no reasonable, articulable suspicion.
You better be talking to your insurance company because you're going to be paying out the ass on this one. Ya murderer. Have a good day.
VOICEMAIL Mark Rossow, claims supervisor for the League of Minnesota Cities—the City's insurer—calls the City Manager the morning after the shooting of Philando Castile, offering legal assistance.
Hi Mark. This is Mark Rossow at the League of Minnesota Cities, about 20 to 10 Thursday morning, calling on the police shooting incident. I'm sure you're busy dealing with that. I know you've been working with Ted Davis, possibly Don Reeder, here at the League on media issues. But I also wanted to offer up legal assistance if you guys need it. If you need an attorney to deal with any data practices issues or just, you know, general legal issues at this stage. We would be planning to use Joe Flynn F-L-Y-N-N. He's an attorney at the Jardine, Logan & O'Brien law firm and he's one of our main go-to guys on any of these police shooting, police liability, civil rights, sort of cases. That's all he does is represent police officers. He's been doing work for the League for 20, 25 years, something like that. Very knowledgeable, very good.
I will send you a quick follow up e-mail and I will copy Jay Lindgren and I'll give you Joe's contact information in the e-mail. But we were gonna hold off setting up a formal claim file at this time unless you would like us to do so or think that we should do it. We're obviously gonna be, you know, on it and doing whatever needs to be done. So, anyhow, no need to call me back unless you got questions. 651-[redacted]. Bye.
VOICEMAIL In a voicemail for a St. Anthony Police sergeant, a caller questions why Officer Yanez got paid leave after shooting Philando Castile. “Is that not excessive violence? Is that not excessive force?”
Hello Sgt. John, I am under the expectation that you are the police chief. I was asking to speak with you specifically. I have some questions that I wanted to ask you formally. Umm, I'll just ask it and maybe you'll have something to reflect upon.
So, if I become a cop, I can shoot someone four times and get paid leave? I know it may seem like a dumb question to ask, but it's kind of a logical one. If I pull someone over with a child in the back and I shoot them four times, wouldn't that be negligent discharge? Wouldn't that be reckless shooting? Wouldn't that be excessive force? If I felt threatened for my life, should I not have called in backup? Or should I have shot four times and felt threatened for my life?
I'm sure you're getting an outcry of messages right now. I understand that there may be riots, protests, but I ask the people of Minnesota not to do any of that because that's exactly what the police want to happen. And I see that because if there's protests and there's riots then that gives the police reason to use that excessive violence that started this whole incident as we speak, or as I speak. So I just ask you this one simple question. How is it that an individual can say they feel threatened for their life, use excessive force on someone who clearly was not doing anything violent, who stated that they had a weapon, who also stated that they had their concealed carry. And they shoot them not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. Point blank, pretty much.
Is that not excessive violence? Is that not excessive force? And if you can answer that question please answer the question as to how is it that that individual can get paid leave while this is being investigated? Thank you very much sir. And I hope you have a wonderful day.
VOICEMAIL In an expletive-laden voicemail, a caller demands action from the St. Anthony Police Department.
Oh, hello Sergeant John. I'm calling because I'm rather pissed off, and you know what, I'm a white girl. And black lives do matter. And you know what. F**k the cops.
You guys are nothing but f**king murderers. You killed an innocent black man with his girl in the car and a four-year-old child. But you're not gonna do anything about it, right?
Oh, you gonna slap him on the wrist, or pat him on the butt, and send him home with those few paid weeks of vacation? Are you f**king kidding me, Sergeant John? You better handle up on this before your county comes in and handles up on your f**king police station. Get that? We're f**king pissed! Murderer f**king pig scum.
VOICEMAIL A caller describes the shooting of Philando Castile as a "public lynching," stating Officer Yanez should have been "immediately fired" instead of being given paid leave.
Hello, my name is Gereta, and I knew that no one was going to be available to take this call, and possibly this message won't be heard either. But I'm leaving it just in case.
I've witnessed this public lynching of an African-American man on Facebook today. I am very appalled at this. And to be on a paid leave of absence for this, police? I'm very upset that you would even think of this. And I know that there's a protocol for things, a paid leave, but witnessing that video, they should have been immediately fired.
I don't know what's going on in St. Anthony, but you all better get it together because this is public lynching is not appreciated, and it is being seen all over the world. I am appalled that this can be going on now, but I really -- I guess I shouldn't be, because I'm seeing it too much. This is -- this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. There is no more that I have to say. I'm voicing my concern. I'm putting these numbers on Facebook. Bye.
VOICEMAIL A caller from Seattle expresses surprise that the City has not published any information about the Philando Castile shooting on its website.
This is Rob [redacted]. I live in the Seattle area, and I'm looking at your web site, and there's nothing on it about the shooting, which seems extremely surprising.