Internal policy reveals police officers are free to lie in reports
by Timothy Charles Holmseth
When Officer Aeisso Schrage made-up a fake quote, placed quotation marks around it, emphasized it with all caps, and attributed it to a man in an official police report; he was sure he was going to get away with it.
He got caught.
Here’s what happened.
Schrage asserted the false statement to something he claimed to hear while listening to a man through the door of the man’s own residence, while the man was talking on the telephone to his attorney.
The problem for Schrage is – the man was an experienced journalist and was recording the call between himself and his attorney – every word that was spoken was captured on audio- the police officer was caught in the act of filing a false police report.
Nope – not according to Michael Hedlund, chief of police, East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
Here are the facts.
The following was authored by Schrage and filed in a police report:
When we arrived we overheard HOLMSETH talking to someone on the telephone, rather loudly, about taking some videos off the internet and that he “MUST HAVE FORGOTTEN SOME.” We knocked and announced and the door was answered by HOLMSETH.
-December 14, 2012 / Officer Aeisso Schrage / EGFPD
The quotation marks and emphasis are Schrage’s – the statement is presented as Schrage wrote it.
The following is Chief Hedlund’s response to Timothy Charles Holmseth’s complaint:
In your letter dated August 15, 2013 you stated that you felt Off. Aeisso Schrage fabricated a statement and that Sgt. Chris Olson signed off on said report, thus approving it. I have found no evidence of any intentional misrepresentation by any member of our staff in this incident. Police reports are written from the memory of the officer (sometimes supported by notes) and are typically not exact reproductions of statements that have been made. I find your complaint regarding this matter to be “Unfounded”.
-September 30, 2013 / Police Chief Michael Hedlund
Hedlund’s act of defending the obvious Misconduct has been occurring under the legal guidance provided by East Grand Forks City Attorney Ronald Galstad.
Because of this, and other actions brought against Holmseth, advanced by Hedlund and Galstad, are clearly illegal, the matter has been submitted by Holmseth to Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth and Sheriff Barb Erdman.
The letter reads in part:
Hedlund justifies Schrage’s completely fabricated quote by saying statements in police reports are “…typically not exact reproductions of statements that have been made.” The quote Schrage attributed to me was encased in ‘quotation marks’ and was emphasized with all capitalized letters. It was presented as an ‘exact reproduction’ of something I allegedly said.
Hedlund’s explanation is preposterous and shows he is attempting to cover-up misconduct and criminal activity occurring at the EGFPD.
The evidence in this matter clearly shows Schrage and Olson are guilty of Misconduct and criminal activity. Schrage completely fabricated a non-existent statement out of whole cloth, and then introduced the false statement into the official record by placing it into a Police Report. The false quote was intended to be used as evidence against me in support of a criminal complaint filed by the STATE OF MINNESOTA.
Schrage and Olson believed they were going to get away with the crime they committed against me because they did not know I used my Journalist/Reporter’s recorder to record the entire event.
-October 29, 2013 / Timothy Charles Holmseth