The Minneapolis Story Home Page

The Experience of Ron Edwards

A Renaissance Black Man in a White Man's World

A Beacon for Freedom in the City

2006 Blog Entries
April ~ Entry #4

Home | 2006 Columns » | All Columns » | 2006 Blogs »

4-25-06, Blog entry #4: Spirit of Justice Taney is pervasive at Larry Clark's Trial. Unlike wine, Minnesota Justice isn't aging well; it is turning bitter with age. The age old question of "whose ox gets gored" has become "whose box is being opened"? Minnesota "Justice" fears the Pandora's box of TRUTH.

In our column that publishes and posts tomorrow, we ask this about those on the jury: are they thinking as Justice Taney, who said about the Dred Scott decision canceling the 14th amendment for Blacks, that "There are just no rights that a Black American has that we ... are obligated to respect and honor." We don't know yet about the jury. But we do know that too many officers of the court are demonstrating this daily, and did so again yesterday and today. Justice is indeed being denied to Larry Clark, just as it was dennied to Ronald Reed.

The Strib and PiPress again fail journalism's call to accurate, full reporting in their stories today, 4-25-06, as they report talking points as well as on a trial session they didn't stay for but left early, missing new developments. With the jury out of the room, the officers of the court (Judge, prosecution, defense) discussed with Judge Johnson whether witness Harper's confession to the police last Thursday that he murdered a man in 1969 was admissable. Prosecutor Jeffrey Paulsen lied yesterday when he said that they "had no inkling" of this until last week (as noted in court today, they knew September 10 and 11, 2005). And so again we see how the major dailies operate re Blacks: accept what the prosecutors say, even when they lie (why investigate fully), as they have already decided that of Ronald Reed and Larry Clark are guilty. The "establishment" wants someone for Officer Sackett's murder. They think they are "safe" by accusing two former civil rights activist Black men with records. Who will care? For the record, we do.

They need Harper to get to Clark. So why didn't they have him testify in Reed's trial? The prosecution bribed Harper with immunity. And so he'll testify that he saw Reed and Clark walking to the scene of the 1970 Sackett killing less than an hour before (PiPress), and that they had the rifle in their hands "less than an hour" before Officer Sackett was killed in 1970 (Strib). Surely I'm not the only one who sees through this ruse of trotting out a new story never given before to "finally" enable them to "get" someone.

They have hidden Harper's confession as any fair court would recognize how it damages Harper's credibility. We can see why Judge Johnson doesn't want to admit the testimony as it would, in his words, be "opening Pandora's box" if the jury hears it. It damages the already held position of the players in this court that Reed and Clark are guilty until proven innocent. And with moves as they have made, are making, and will make, they make sure their innocence can't be proven (even as they can't prove guilt without false testimony of those they have made deals with.

The Strib headline is "Sackett witness's past a problem; Judge will rule on confession to '69 murder". The Pi Press headline is "Clark trial: key witness comes clean in different murder case....killed a man in 1969".

They report Harper saying he confessed last Thursday because, "I guess it's because you guys have been there for me." For sure: they have offered him immunity to give damning testimony. Harper cancels out defense witness Reece. Prosecution and defense then agree that Reece isn't needed, leaving Larry Clark, as Ronald Reed before him, holding the bag of injustice. In exchange for putting the rifle in the hands of Clark and Reed, Harper gets good treatment.

But here is the thing: the police have known about Harper killing Berg since September 2005. And check out this argument of Special Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Jeff Paulsen that the judge "should keep Harper's confession out of Clark's trial because the crime is more than three decades old."

Then why try Reed and Clark for a trial that is 3 decades old that has no evidence of any kind other than the testimony of witnesses with little credibility? Such a charade. All done to poison the Clark well of justice just as Reed's was poisoned.

And lets not forget that the testimony that could have helped Reed and Clark, from the Connie Trumble trial of 1973, in which she was acquitted, has all been "lost" (or destroyed).

And what is their one persistent theme? That Reed and Clark did the deed " to impress the national leadership of the Black Panthers ." The hatred of some Whites of blacks due to this persistent myth about Black Panthers continues, despite the fact that there were NO Black panthers here, as we discussed in our Column of September 10, 2005.

What the papers also don't report is that Berg's murder was pinned on African American man who spent 20 years in jail for what Harper did. But he was Black. So surely he was guilty. And if not, he was probably guilty of something else anyway. White justice can put innocent Blacks in a box, no matter how they turn.

We are not here to defend accused Black men because they are Black. The guilty indeed belong in jail. We are here to defend Reed and Clark because we believe them to be innocent of the Sackett murder. Our concern is for unjustly jailed Blacks, of which we consider Reed and Clark to be in the Sackett case.

We have given testimony to the investigators of both Reed and Clark. We have received subpoenas to testify. And then, of course, we are never called. We have made our case in our columns & blog entries on Reed and Clark. And of course, we still wait for the proscecutors to answer the 37 questions we raised July 9 2005.

We again invite our readers to revisit our site to follow our discussion on the injustice meted out in the dark box of Minnesota justice, as we have already discussed in much detail in our book, The Minneapolis Story , which is still relevant.

White Justice seems more and more to us in the Black community of Minnesota as a commodity sold to White citizens as a reward for their acquiesence, taxes and access to government jobs. In a Justice Taney sense, Minnesota justice is fair, moral, and impartial for all persons. Taney didn't accept Blacks as persons. Neither did the Constitution (each counted as 2/3) until we were restored to wholeness by the 14 th amendment. The Dred Scott decision essentially reversed us back to less than whole and ushered in the J im Crow era. Judge Johnson's court room is reflecting Judge Taney's belief that "There are just no rights that a Black American has that we ... are obligated to respect and honor."

So "justice" is still pulled apart by conflicting claims. We will continue to track the gaps in access and opportunity reflected in the claims of the elite (those with authority, power, privilege) over the non-elite (the marginalized, those not holding government offices, whether elected, appointed or hired into), such the "remnant" of Blacks in America's inner city controlled mostly by the elite of the Democratic party (government office holders and government workers impacting directly on education, job compliance, housing policies, public safety, etc., who block the 7 Key Themes, 7 Key Problems and 7 Key Solutions to Solving the Problems of America's Inner Cities). and who continually refuse to consider the inherent value of The Blocks to Construct a Minneapolis Table for All to Sit at Together.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and for the columns. Please cite for blog entries and solution papers.

Home | 2006 Columns » | All Columns » | 2006 Blogs »