Jack Rice - Blog

Jack Rice is a criminal defense trial lawyer who provides legal advice to those charged with crimes in Federal and Minnesota State courtrooms.


Jack's Blog & Media Appearances

Live Broadcast from Farview Park in North Minneapolis

This broadcast started out as a result of a phone call from a listener. He described how, as a resident and business owner in North Minneapolis, he was facing constant crime, constant danger and little hope for the future. And he wanted to know if WCCO would consider taking a closer look at the struggles faced by the people living in this community.
While crime has dropped substantially across the country over the last couple of years, this is not the case in North Minneapolis. According to statistics kept by the city, homicides are up some 36% so far this year as compared to three years ago. Aggravated assaults are up by 36%. Robberies are up by 41%. That doesn't mention the drugs, the prostitution, the thefts.

Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak tries to explain the challenges he and the people of Minnesota face as a result of the problems in North Minneapolis.

The purpose of the program was not to take political shots at one side or another, although that is sometimes inevitable by some invited to participate. Our purpose was to give the residents of this community a forum to address grievances and allow the police, community activists and politicians a chance to not just respond but to articulate their stuggles, their concerns and even their ideas for addressing the problems.

Mayoral Candidate Peter McLaughlin has a very different take on the reasons for the problems in this neighborhood and the possible solutions.

The broadcast took place at Farview Park on 29th and Lyndale. Besides invited guests, residents of the community were also invited to attend and voice their opinions. We should add that only a few short blocks away from our broadcast is the center of the drug trade in this neighborhood. Throughout the broadcast, I kept asking officials why I can simply walk down the street and buy any illegal drug of my choice. The answers were varied.
Quite by accident, after the broadcast, Sue, my producer and I, were leaving Farview Park and on our way back to WCCO studios in downtown Minneapolis when I thought that I would show Sue a house just down the street that had been shot up and in which a young girl had been shot. Well, we drove two blocks from Farview and slowed in front of the house. We were not there for more than 10 seconds when we were approached by a young African American man on a bicycle. He wore all black. Yeah. You know the rest. He was a drug dealer. We waived him off and moved on.

Minneapolis Police Chief William McManus tries to articulate the relationship between the police and the community to address the problems. He explains that the police cannot arrest the problem away

Minneapolis Police Officer Grant Snyder, one of the STOP officers, gave some on-the ground realities faced by the officer trying to work the streets in this area.

The broadcast wasn't intended to solve any problems but mainly to highlight the problems that exist. Even more, as was stated by many of the guests, even though North Minneapolis faces incredible problems, nothing is stopping these same bad elements from moving into other parts of Minneapolis, St. Paul or even across the state. So, in the end, the problem is not a North Minneapolis problem but rather Minnesota problem.

City Councilman Don Samuels took a much broader view of the problem. As the Councilman put it, everybody is involved and everybody should be interested in the solution.

Various members of the community came to participate including Lt. Maderra Arradondo, Commander of the Minneapolis Police STOP Division and member of the Police Community Relations Council.