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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Metro Gang Strike Force


16:33 |

members of the Metro Gang Strike Force attended a six-day conference in Hawaii, using nearly $17,000 in forfeited money that had been seized by the Strike Force in the course of its work.That turned out to be the first of many exclusive stories that Furst reported this year examining questionable practices within the Gang Strike Force. His reporting ultimately contributed to the decision to shut the organization down.Furst reported, along with Lora Pabst, how officers seized $4,500 in cash from Dagoberto Rodriquez Cardona in 2008 when Cardona went to claim a car from an impound lot, without ever documenting that the money had been seized. Cardona later filed suit, illustrating that the cash was money he and three others had earned through work, not drugs.We learned, through Furst's reporting, that seizing cash, cars, TVs and other property without proper documentation had become common practice on the force, first to help fund the work during tough days, and occasionally to enhance the lifestyles of some police officers.Furst also broke the story, ahead of everyone else, that Strike Force commander Chris Omodt had closed the unit in late May after discovering that officers had been shredding documents prior to an investigation into Strike Force activities.Today, Furst and Paul McEnroe take you behind the scenes to explain the meltdown of this organization, one of the biggest failures of crime enforcement in recent Twin Cities history. Their exhaustive reporting shows how something that began as a successful, upstanding crime-fighting organization eventually went rogue.


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