Marsy’s Law cited by ND AG regarding public records request for police-cam of police shooting

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on December 19, 2016, 8:43 P.M. CST

The case involving a police shooting of an unarmed man in Grand Forks, North Dakota may be headed to the courtroom.

The Office of North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has invoked “Marsy’s Law” in response to a public records request for police-cam video regarding the pursuit and shooting on an unarmed man in February, 2015.

According to Stenehjem’s office, they need time to assess Write Into Action’s request for the police-cam evidence to make sure it is in compliance with Marsy’s Law.

Liz Brocker, public information officer, ND AG, responded to the request today.

“This confirms your request. Before we can provide an estimate of the costs and time involved, we must review the request against the provisions of Marsy’s law. I will be in touch shortly” Brocker said.


Marsy’s Law was passed in 2016 to ensure the rights of crime victims.

The shooting of David James Elliott by a UND police officer was deemed justified by Grand Forks States Attorney David Jones, after, he says, he reviewed all the evidence and police videos of the event.

David James Elliott eventually pled guilty to reckless endangerment and the case is closed.

That’s it.

According to records and the court there was, and is, no victim.

According to police and court records the only person to blame is David James Elliott - the man that was shot.

It is not readily known how Marsy's Law could even remotely apply to the case.

The pursuit and shooting of David James Elliott has been shrouded in mystery ever since it happened on February 28, 2015, when police refused to talk to the media for two and half days after the unarmed man was inexplicably shot in a hospital parking lot.

Write Into Action has learned through BCI interviews that David Elliott was trying to reach the Emergency Room at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks and had arranged with a police officer that was talking to him on the PSAP line to meet him there.

He was shot in front of the Emergency Room.

The case appears to be a ticking public relations time-bomb for the State of North Dakota.

Here's why...

It appears David James Elliott knew he was going to be shot, which is why he called 911 and refused to pull over.

David James Elliott contacted Write Into Action in the summer of 2016 and said Jerad Braaten, the (former) UND police officer that shot him, tried to kill him minutes before the ultimate shooting, but Braaten’s gun jammed. Braaten’s body-cam, which captured no visual because he fixed it wrong on his shirt, captures the sound of Braaten’s gun clicking atop the Columbia Road Bridge.

BCI evidence further reveals Braaten’s dash-cam disappeared altogether, and he attempted to hide his body-cam under his squad car after the shooting.

Grand Forks Police Chief Mark Nelson hired Braaten after the shooting.

In the summer of 2016 Nelson enacted a ‘Special Order’ to change retention dates on police-cam videos after Write Into Action began ordering videos of the event.

Video that Write Into Action managed to obtain from the GFPD were altered using a video editor and time-stamps between the dash-cams and body-cams do not match.

Grand Fork PSAP advised Write Into Action that the two hour 911 call made by David James Elliott on the night he was shot had been deleted because they needed space.

Write Into Action has submitted payment for the 911 call to the Office of the Attorney General.

Write Into Action’s most recent request, which resulted in Stenehjem bringing up Marsy's Law reads as follows:

Liz Brocker
Public Information Officer
Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General
600 E. Boulevard Avenue | Dept. 125 | Bismarck, ND 58505

December 19, 2016

In Re: Public Data Request / Police Shooting Video

Ms. Brocker,

I am in receipt of the BCI interview with Jennifer Elliott (wife of police shooting victim David James Elliott) that I received from your office.

During said interview BCI Special Agent Michael Ness refers extensively to police-cam evidence.

At the 9:48 marker on the audio SA Ness said “He is on the trooper’s video camera….” – referring to video from the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

At the 13:06 marker on the audio SA Ness said, “Sgt. Schneider’s in-car camera is the best there…” referring to video from the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office.

At the 14:47 marker on the audio SA Ness said, “You can see him on one of the body cameras…” referring to Grand Forks Police body cam video.

I am requesting the aforementioned data.

Timothy Charles Holmseth
Investigative Author/Journalist/Publisher

Timothy Charles Holmseth
320 17th Street N.W.
Unit# 17
East Grand Forks, MN
218.230.1597 (cell)                                                                    


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