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2007 Blog Entries
July ~ Entry #19

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7-8-07: #19: Investigation of Howard Porter put on back burner. Why?

We first raised our questions about the handling of the brutal May murder of Howard Porter in our June 20, 2007 blog entry. Now we learn more disturbing news raising more questions: that the Minneapolis Police Department assigned the case to investigators who were immediately leaving on vacation. Howard Porter, the former Villanova University and seven year NBA star, was a beloved member of our Twin Cities community. He disappeared May 18. He was knocked unconscious with a golf club, beaten with at least four people known to be in the house, stuffed into the trunk of a car, and then driven to Minneapolis and dumped in a lot in the Camden Neighborhood of North Philadelpia, at 34 th Avenue North and Humbolt. He was discovered May 19th. He was not identified for three days. He died May 27th. Memorial services were held in three states (Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Florida).

Key words: golf club, lawyer in Pueto Rico, suspects in house when beating took place (Ms. Washington, her unnamed boy friend, and two HS teenagers).

Key questions:

  1. Why have the Twin City police departments seemingly put Howard Porter's case on the back burner?
  2. Why is there no sense of urgency at the MPD for this case?
  3. Why did the police assign Howard Porter's murder case to investigators going on vacation, when police say what is needed to solve crimes usually has to be found within the first 48 hours?
  4. Why did the police departments of St. Paul and Minneapolis pass the buck back and forth when the law says jurisdiction is by the city/county where the murder victim died, not where he was beaten up?
  5. Why did Mr. Porter go three days without being identified when there were reports out on his missing, not to mention the technology available to the police to take finger prints?
  6. Were finger prints taken of Mr. Porter, and if so, what happened to them?
  7. Why was Tonya E. Washington's name given out but not that of her boy friend?
  8. Why were Ms. Washington's boy friend (a person on probation) and her (aledgedly claiming to have critical information as the lure) both let go for lack of evidence?
  9. Why are the two High School girls who were also in the house that night not being questioned just becasue their attorney remains on vacation in Puerto Rico?
  10. How many were probably involved to be able to carry a 6'9" man approaching 280 pounds, from the house to the car trunk?
  11. Why are two stories allowed to circulate, one that he was there to see a person on probation in his role as a Ramsey County probation officer, and the other that he was there to buy drugs?
  12. What are investigators trying to hide by having the toxicology report sealed?
  13. Why, again, are the Black status quo fixers of St. Paul advising Mr. Porter's daughter not to ask questions, not to rock the boat, when the boat is the boat of justice?
  14. Is this another case of black on black crime that police want to downplay in the hopes that it will quietly go away?

Posted 7-8-07, 5:35 a.m./11:59 p.m

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

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