Author

Tony Webster

Tony Webster

Tony Webster is a journalist and photographer. He won the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists 2017 Peter S. Popovich Award for his freedom-of-information advocacy.

Federal judge orders Minnesota state troopers to not arrest journalists covering protests

By: - April 16, 2021

A Minnesota federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring Minnesota state law enforcement from using force against journalists or ordering them to disperse while covering protests. The ruling does not apply to local law enforcement or the National Guard, however.  Indeed, amid another night of protests in Brooklyn Center, journalists reported being detained […]

‘Abolish ICE’ was a top submission in Minnesota’s snowplow naming contest

By: - February 19, 2021

Minnesota Department of Transportation officials this week announced the finalists in a public competition to name eight snowplows throughout the state, but one of the most frequently submitted names — “Abolish ICE” — won’t be allowed to proceed to the final round. In December, MnDOT asked Minnesotans to submit “creative, witty, punny and fun ideas […]

The Bad Cops: How Minneapolis protects its worst police officers until it’s too late

By: and - December 15, 2020

Officer Blayne Lehner opened the back door of his squad car and grabbed the handcuffed teenager kicking the partition. He ripped Luis Garcia’s 5-foot-5, 125-pound body from the car and dropped him face down on the concrete. Garcia remembers feeling blows to his face before he lost consciousness. Three years later, when the Minneapolis Police […]

State leaders face backlash over arresting hundreds of protesters in Minneapolis

By: and - November 5, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and his public safety commissioner are facing criticism from Minneapolis elected officials and activists for trapping hundreds of protesters for several hours Wednesday night and arresting more than 600 people after they marched onto Interstate 94. “If (the Department of Public Safety) thinks this will act as a deterrent to these activists, […]

After last-minute court ruling, Facebook ‘misinformation’ policies block Minnesota election officials from alerting voters to stop mailing ballots

By: - October 30, 2020

As an appellate court ruling threw Minnesota’s election into last-minute chaos, election officials have lost a critical tool to alert voters to stop mailing in ballots: Facebook advertising.  That’s because the social media site, in an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation, announced last month they would halt the creation of new political ads […]

Lawsuit seeks court order prohibiting armed ex-soldiers outside Minnesota polling places

By: - October 20, 2020

A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday morning against a private security company that was recruiting former military personnel to “guard” Minnesota polling places during the upcoming election. The recruiting, which was first reported by the Washington Post, alarmed civil rights and voting rights activists who fear it’s an effort to intimidate voters.  The lawsuit was […]

Class action lawsuit seeks end to police sweeps of Minneapolis homeless encampments

By: - October 19, 2020

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Monday against the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, local officials and law enforcement on behalf of seven people who currently or formerly lived in homeless encampments in Minneapolis public parks. The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU of Minnesota and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, follows repeated police sweeps of homeless […]

Mail-in ballot witness requirement waived for Minnesota’s November election

By: - August 3, 2020

A court order allowing registered Minnesota voters to skip getting a witness signature on their mail-in ballot for next week’s primary election will be extended to the November general election, a state court judge ruled Monday. The decision by Ramsey County Assistant Chief Judge Sara Grewing also ordered that with an increased volume in mail-in […]

Derek Chauvin charged with felony tax fraud for claiming Florida residency

By: - July 22, 2020

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer charged with second degree murder in the killing of George Floyd, has been charged with nine felony counts of aiding and abetting tax fraud in Washington County, Minn. The charges accuse Chauvin and his wife of claiming Florida residency to avoid paying Minnesota taxes, resulting in six charges […]

Personal information of Minnesota law enforcement, critical infrastructure personnel published online after massive hack

By: - July 10, 2020

A trove of Minnesota law enforcement data was published online after hackers broke into the servers of a vendor of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. The sensitive information includes details about key Minnesota security and intelligence personnel at every level of government. Also released were personally identifying contact information […]

Easier absentee mail voting coming to August primary election amid pandemic

By: - June 17, 2020

Minnesota voters will not need a witness to sign their mail-in absentee ballot, and they’ll get extra time to send in their ballot for the August 11 primary election, a state judge ruled Wednesday.  The judge approved a deal struck between DFL Secretary of State Steve Simon and a group of Minnesotans who sued the […]

Protester lawsuit filed against Minneapolis Police seeks class action status

By: - June 3, 2020

A St. Paul woman filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis Tuesday alleging civil rights violations in connection with the protests following a video showing a white Minneapolis Police officer — since fired — with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed Black man, killing him. Annette Williams, […]