Cops and cameras. Again. (5×8 – 8/30/12)

The Conway incident, things not to say to your public defender, the SEAL interview, cow dung and the drought in Wisconsin, and return of the eagle in Spooner.


One thing you do have to say for the Saint Paul police: They didn’t try to stop bystanders from filming police officers in action on Conway Street on Tuesday as cops in other cities often do.

After that, however, it gets a little mystifying. The video of the arrest of a man appeared on YouTube yesterday afternoon (language warning):

It “raised serious concerns about the use of force,” the city’s police chief said in an understatement.

“This cop was dealing with a very dangerous individual in a very dangerous situation,” the police union president told the Pioneer Press. “Back-up was not immediately available. And maybe our officials shouldn’t make comments about their concern until the investigation has run its course. This is a good cop.”

The man on the ground, Eric Hightower, has a criminal history of convictions for violating an order for protection, obstructing legal process and petty theft. He was also charged last year with fifth-degree drug possession and third-degree assault, and has pleaded guilty to both, the Pioneer Press reports.

In Minneapolis, the police have started filming themselves, allegedly to counter the videos that bystanders make.

Related: A similar situation in Los Angeles was also captured on tape. It’s described as “contempt of cop” by a CBS reporter. A commander has been demoted.

More Related: Minnesota West Community and Technical College program teaches law enforcement how to use the force. (Marshall Independent)


The anonymous Minnesota public defender who writes the blog, not for the monosyllabic, has made it easy on those who might someday need a public defender, publishing the list of things you shouldn’t say to your public defender.

For example:

“Marijuana should be legal.” Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn’t. But, it’s not. So, just because you don’t like the law doesn’t mean that’s going to get you out of the charges. Go talk to your legislators, get the law changed, and possess all the marijuana you want. In the meantime, it’s still illegal.

Good reading.


A Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the killing of Osama bin Laden has spilled the goods to 60 Minutes. Curiously, CBS still refers to him as Mark Owen, even though it’s well known that his real name is Matt Bissonnette.

The Washington Post reviews the book here.


There’s a crisis in the Wisconsin Cow Chip Throwing Contest. There isn’t enough quality cow dung and officials — cow dung officials? — are blaming the drought.

The hot, dry summer caused the grass to brown and cattle to stay near their barn for food and to keep coo, the Associated Press reports. “That means the manure in the pasture wasn’t able to dry and flatten in the sun,” it said.

“This is my 24th throw, and it’s never been this difficult to find chips,” said Marietta Reuter.


Last March, a juvenile bald eagle was caught in a leg hold trap along the Yellow River near Spooner, Wisconsin on land belonging to the St. Croix Tribe of Ojibway. The eagle was spotted and rescued by Wesley Bearheart and his brother. It’s back in the air. Steve Russell provides this video.

Bonus I: A Scottish skipper has set a new world record after finding a message in a bottle 98 years after it was released. (BBC)

Bonus II: The Pioneer Press says a Lake Elmo man set a new speed record, going almost 78.4 on an electric motorcycle. But that’s not really the fastest a person has gone on an electric motorcycle. That distinction belongs to Chip Yates, who went 190 mph last year.

I interviewed Yates at Oshkosh this year, after he set a record in an electric airplane. I’ve just posted that interview — as well as most of the others I did on my aviation talk show — on my aviation blog.

Bonus III: Every day, this man waves at his kid’s school bus. Every day. Dressed in a different costume. This is the third year he’s done it.

He started this school year with a tribute to Michael Phelps.



Some members of the Minnesota delegation to the Republican National Convention have complained about their treatment in Tampa. They say rules are being rigged against insurgent candidates like Ron Paul, who most of them voted for. Today’s Question: Is there enough room for dissent at political conventions?


Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The direction of the Republican Party.

Second hour: Minnesota’s proposed system for measuring progress in school.

Third hour: Fall arts preview.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): MPR political editor Mike Mulcahy hosts a US Senate debate at the MPR State Fair booth, featuring Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her Republican challenger, Rep. Kurt Bills.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – TBA

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – TBA