The chief prosecutor in Minneapolis, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, is taking a medical leave after he was seen acting erratically at a crime prevention meeting, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The surprise announcement came more than a week after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond two summers ago, seen as a major victory for Freeman’s office. Sources say Freeman acted strangely at a meeting at the Urban League’s North Side location Thursday night. Freeman and other top law enforcement officials were attending a meeting of Project L.I.F.E., an intervention program for gang members looking to get out of the street life.
Freeman’s office said that after a physical exam, his doctor and others “suggested that I need some time away from the high stress of running the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in order to restore my physical well-being.” Sources said that at the crime prevention session, Freeman struck a boastful tone, telling the audience of gang members, police, lawyers and residents that he wasn’t afraid to charge anyone, up to and including police officers. The sources suggested that Freeman may have been under the influence. Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the union that represents the city’s rank-and-file cops, said he had been told by officers who attended the meeting that Freeman slapped a police squad car with his hand and told nearby officers something to the effect of: “Thanks for not shooting me.”