From the Ellison files

Although the Twin Cities newspapers have taken a deep dive into GOP attorney general candidate Doug Wardlow’s early teenage years, neither the Star Tribune nor the Pioneer Press has consulted its archives to revisit stories that bear on DFL candidate Keith Ellison’s fitness for office. It is such a phenomenon that makes us detest them as partisan and dishonest rags.

Take, for example, Ellison’s support for the killers of Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf. In September 1992 Officer Haaf was murdered execution-style, shot in the back as he took a coffee break at a restaurant in south Minneapolis. Police later determined that Haaf’s murder was a gang hit performed by four members of the city’s Vice Lords gang.The leader of the Vice Lords was Sharif Willis, a convicted murderer who had been released from prison and who sought respectability as a responsible gang leader from gullible municipal authorities while operating a gang front called United for Peace.

The four Vice Lords members who murdered Haaf met and planned the murder at Willis’s house. Despite the fact that two witnesses implicated Willis in the planning he was never charged because law enforcement authorities said they lacked sufficient evidence to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the time, Ellison was a Minneapolis attorney in private practice. And within a month of Haaf’s murder, Ellison appeared with Willis supporting the United for Peace gang front. In October 1992, Ellison helped organize a demonstration against Minneapolis police that included United for Peace. “The main point of our rally is to support United for Peace [in its fight against] the campaign of slander the police federation has been waging,” said Ellison.

Willis was the last speaker at the demonstration. According to a contemporaneous report in the Pioneer Press, Willis told the crowd that Minneapolis police were experiencing the same fear from young black men that blacks had felt from police for many years. “If the police have some fear, I understand that fear,” Willis said. “We seem to have an overabundance of bad police. . . . [W]e’re going to get rid of them,” Willis said. “They’ve got to go.” The Pioneer Press account concludes with Ellison’s contribution to the demonstration: “Ellison told the crowd that the police union is systematically frightening whites in order to get more police officers hired. That way, Ellison said, the union can increase its power base.”

Ellison publicly supported the Haaf murder defendants. In February 1993, he spoke at a demonstration for one of them during his trial. Ellison led the crowd assembled at the courthouse in a chant that was ominous in the context of Haaf’s cold-blooded murder: “We don’t get no justice, you don’t get no peace.” Ellison’s working relationship with Sharif Willis finally came to an end in February 1995, when Willis was convicted in federal court on several counts of drug and gun-related crimes and sent back to prison for 20 years.

Now Keith Ellison seeks Minnesota’s top law enforcement job. In the video below, Doug Wardlow does the job that the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune refuse to do. He tells the highly relevant truth about Keith Ellison.

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