UND withholding open public records of police shooting

UND president Ed Schafer asked to intervene

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on June 20, 2016, 12:06 P.M. CST

The University of North Dakota (UND) has not produced the open record police body cam evidence captured the night a UND police officer shot an un-armed man in the parking lot of Altru Hospital.

READ Write Into Action’s letter to UND President Ed Schafer requesting the video be promptly turned over.

Ed Schafer

Incoming UND President Mark Kennedy and Doug Burgum, the RNC candidate for North Dakota governor, are copied on the letter that involves public safety.

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

In Re: Public Records / Public/Campus Safety

June 20, 2016

Ed Schafer
UND Interim President
300 Twamley Hall
264 Centennial Dr Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202
701.777.3866 (fax)

President Schafer,

I am contacting you as a follow up to my May 22, 2016 letter regarding public records; criminal activity; and UND campus/public safety.

On May 18, 2016 I contacted Sgt. Dan Weigel at the University of North Dakota Police Department and requested open record police body-cam evidence. I also requested the body-cam of UND officer Jerad Braaten from the night he shot David James Elliott in the Altru Hospital parking lot.

The body-cam I am requesting places UND police officers Mark Thorpe, Jayson Waltz, Jerad Braaten, Danny Weigel, Frank Lanasa, and Heather Hopkins ‘clearing’ a call at a sorority house on the UND campus. The UND call is cleared at the exact same time (almost to the second) Grand Forks Police are terminating a police pursuit of David James Elliott on I-29 near Thompson.

UND officer Braaten shot David Elliott a short time later. My independent investigation contains facts that strongly suggest the aforementioned ‘coincidence’ is impossible and public safety is at risk because of the true events of that night.

UND is not promptly producing the public police body-cam records.

On June 1, 2016 Sgt. Weigel managed to fit an interview with the Grand Forks Herald into his schedule to discuss some ducklings removed from a storm drain by UND police.  I completely understand that people love ‘little baby ducks’ and UND officer Frank Lanasa looks just wonderful holding a ‘little baby duck’ in the photo submitted to the media by the UND police department.

However, I believe it’s time for the University of North Dakota and the State of North Dakota to adjust its focus back onto the value of human lives.

If you could please address my public records request it would be greatly appreciated.

Timothy Charles Holmseth
Investigative Journalist/Author/Publisher

Cc: Doug Burgum, Mark Kennedy, Eric Lunn, Eric Plummer, Sgt. Dan Weigel, Billie Jo Lorius

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