Cops who might’ve had dirt wouldn’t talk, the cops who did talk had no dirt, and the people who thought they had dirt couldn’t keep their stories straight. In brief, says the St. Paul Pioneer Press, that’s how Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman summed up the findings of a special criminal inquiry into the defunct Metro Gang Strike Force: Two “intensive” months of digging by six seasoned investigators turned up no criminal wrongdoing.
It doesn’t mean there wasn’t illegal behavior, Freeman said. It just means there was nothing prosecutors could find that rose to the level of a crime that could be proved in court. In announcing the findings, the prosecutor minced few words in his criticism of the former gang unit’s commander, Ron Ryan Sr., for not cooperating with investigators and for running a unit where record-keeping was “so bad it was stunning.” Freeman’s report said, “It is a tragedy that the commander’s failure to meet those responsibilities unfairly tarnished the reputations and careers of the many able and professional officers who served on the (gang unit). “Those officers and the public deserved better.” Ryan has retired.