Last June, Martin Treptow shot Landen Beard.
Beard – an undercover Robbinsdale cop – was alleged (by Treptow and eyewitnesses) to have been in a road-raging snit.
The rest of the story is very much in contention, although according to witnesses it seems to have gone a little something like this:
- Treptow, in an SUV with his pregnant wife and two small children, and Beard, in a sporty little red car, exchanged gestures, words, and aggressive maneuvering.
- Treptow pulls up to a stoplight – behind another car, in the right lane.
- Beard pulls up next to him, on the right.
- Words are exchanged. What words? We’re not entirely sure, but more on that later.
- Someone pulls a gun. Who drew first – Treptow, in his SUV full of kids, boxed in at a stoplight, or Landen Beard? We don’t know – not officially. More below.
- Martin Treptow fired three shots, wounding Beard about as superficially as is possible under the circumstances.
- He then drove to a convenience store and reported the shooting, per state law in self-defense cases, apparently not knowing that Beard was an undercover cop.
- Dozens of cops from every possible jurisdiction (rumors that cops sped in from Inver Grove Heights and Owatonna are apparently unfounded) responded, apparently believing Martin Treptow was John Dillinger sprung from the grave.
- Treptow was arrested, and taken to the Anoka County jail, where…
- …the next day, he was released. No arraignment, no charges. He didn’t even have his Concealed Carry permit revoked – which would have taken the Anoka sheriff five minutes, and is basically pro forma in cases when there’s the faintest doubt. Which – after a day of interviewing witnesses, there apparently was not.
- And from that first 911 call, at 37 seconds after 2:36PM on June 7, the Treptows’ story has stayed rock-solid consistent, while that of Officer Landen Beard has…well, pretty much remained as undercover as he and all of official Minnesota has claimed he was at that moment.
It apparently took six months to introduce doubt into the case; the Anoka County grand jury yesterday indicted Martin Treptow. Joel Rosenberg has the whole, depressing story:
Well, the book has been thrown at Martin S. Treptow. He’s been charged in Anoka County, with:
1. Drive by shooting. MS 609.66 subd 1e(b) — felony, up to ten years.
2. Reckless discharge in municipality sub 1a(3) — ditto, up to two years.
3. Terrorist threats. 609.713 sub (1) — ditto.
We’ll see what the next step in the railroading of Treptow and the whitewashing of Beard is tomorrow, when Landen Beard appears in Anoka County Court to have his wrist slapped.
Given the recent revelations that the “investigators” in the case have gone to the Saint Paul PD to dig up dirt about…not Martin, but Rebecca Treptow, it looks to the casual observer like the Anoka County “justice” system is covering the backs of their Robbinsdale PD colleagues.
Beard’s indictment is scheduled for today. We’ll see what happens.
Remember – the jury has the final word on this case. This is far from over.
Or it should be. Martin Treptow isn’t loaded – not even close. And this case could embarass the hell out of the Robbinsdale PD and, given its behavior for the past six months, Anoka as well. My two cents: Anoka County is throwing the book at Treptow, dredging up the worst possible assortment of felonies (and absurd ones, at that), to try to induce him to take a plea bargain rather than spend his family’s entire future defending himself against the combined weight of every law enforcement agency in the Metro. If Treptow takes the plea, then the story of Officer Landen Beard, and all of the questions his behavior that day introduce into the story, disappear.
And those questions are big, nasty ones, if you believe in running a police department with a reputation for integrity:
- Why was Landen Beard – a Robbinsdale officere – operating undercover in Anoka?
- Who initiated, and carried on, the “road rage” incident?
- Given that one of the three big rules of shooting is “know what your backstop is”, why did Landen Beard point a pistol at a pregnant woman and a car with two small children in the back?
- Who drew their gun first – Beard or Treptow?
- If the Anoka Sheriff thought Martin Treptow’s story was convincing enough to let him go on June 8, without even the inconvenience of suspending his carry permit, and yet the Grand Jury “found” evidence of three felonies, who dropped the ball? Or was it a ball drop at all?
My hunch – and that’s all it is – is that the various jurisdictions involved know that the answers aren’t pretty, and want to do whatever they can to shut Treptow up and get the answers sealed in a court file, never to surface during the careers of anyone in office today.
Again, just a hunch.
If you’d like to help…:
Martin and Rebecca Treptow
Anoka Hennepin Credit Union,
3505 Northdale Blvd. N.W.
Coon Rapids, MN 55448.
UPDATE: Joel isn’t the only local blog covering things. Doug at Northern Muckraker – one of the most-improved blogs in the area – has been writing about the Treptow case:
Remember how I had previously written about Fox9 News’s coverage, and how they conveniently forgot to mention Beard’s name in their coverage of the story while putting Treptow’s name and face all over their airwaves, and how they also neglected to disclose their little conflict of interest, as Beard was the fiance (and now, apparently, the spouse) of one of their employees? The games continue, apparently.
Watch this clip of the update report Fox9 did this evening on the story. Notice how they have lots of video shots of Treptow, and how they manage to show a slow pan of the page of the indictment showing his name and full address, not once, but twice, in the report. No “1600 block of Pennsylania Avenue” courtesy for Mr. Treptow, as that is usually how addresses of presumed innocent people are reported.
And Flash at Centrisity shows that it’s not just a partisan thing:
I am ready for a rant, but will hold off until Beard faces the music today
As Joel notes, “the music” will likely be an indictment for double-parking.
UPDATE 2: I added Point 11 to the timeline, the ugly questions, and bumped the story to the top of the blog for today.
UPDATE 3: Joel Rosenberg emails (and posts at his blog, I see) that Officer Beard’s been indicted:
One count of Terroristic Threats (felony, just in case there’s some gross misdemeanor); case moved to; next court date Feb 14. My correspondent is sitting in on the press conference (whose? I dunno) right now, but will scan the indictment and tell me more later…Treptow’s lawyer not in courtroom; Beard appeared with a bunch of supportive cops in doorkicker gear, to pat him on the shoulder, shake his hand, and wish him well.
Bumped up again.