Special Investigation: East Grand Forks – History of Darkness – Culture of Death

Exponent photograph illuminates East Grand Forks Police Department’s dark history    

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on August 7, 2015 at 11:14 A.M.

An awards ceremony was held on July 16, 2015, for retired East Grand Forks police officers. The officers were featured in a photo on the cover of the East Grand Forks Exponent – and act that has sparked requests by citizens for an investigation by Write Into Action.

Citizens are asking Write Into Action to investigate (1) select officers featured in the photo, and determine (2) whether or not local news has kept the public accurately and truthfully informed about these men and their true activities.

On Wednesday, July 22, 2015, the East Grand Forks Exponent featured several former police chiefs and other officers with special awards and badges.

Exponent Retired EGFPD Officers

The exact reason the featured officers were chosen to be ‘honored’ is not called out, rather, the cutline simply states they were being recognized for a “variety of achievements”.

Write Into Action has been provided with a great deal of information regarding many of the officers shown in the photo, as well as others that are not shown.

Telephone calls, mail, and email is coming in from citizens that are angry and disgusted that many good police officers have worked at the EGFPD over the years – but it was these particular men were chosen to be ‘honored’ in the Exponent for some reason.

Write Into Action’s special investigation will be closely examining these decisions in effort to illuminate the public, and enlighten taxpayers regarding any on-goings that may be occurring behind the scenes – being kept secret from society.


EGF police officer (retired) Jim Grabanski, 75, was among the officers honored.

Why Grabanski was honored is not known and is being questioned by Write Into Action.

On April 25, 2014, an Affidavit of Probable Cause was filed by the Grand Forks Police Department alleging James Edward Grabanski committed the criminal offense of Reckless Endangerment, which is a Class C Felony in the state of North Dakota.

Cursory reviews of the Web reveal no results of any media coverage by local news regarding the felony charge against the former EGF police officer.

On April 24, 2014, Grabanski discharged his Ruger .40 caliber handgun inside his apartment. The bullet went through the wall into the neighboring apartment.

According to the criminal charge, Grabanski’s actions “created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to his neighbor, Dorothy Schue”.

“James in a retired law enforcement officer and has extensive knowledge of firearms. James made no attempt to contact the Police or check the well-being of the resident in #27 after he negligently discharged his firearm,” the Affidavit stated.

Grabanski eventually pled out and is presently on probation.

There is evidence that Grabanski’s reckless indifference to the life of others didn’t begin in 2014.

According to a federal witness whistleblower, Grabanski witnessed fellow police officer, Sgt. Curt Ellingson, who was also inexplicably ‘honored’ during the bizarre ceremony; smash a handcuffed prisoner’s (John Osowksi) head against a wall at the East Grand Forks police station until the man was unconscious. Grabanski then allegedly told another officer to get rid of the surveillance tape.

“Police departments are full of honest police officers that go to work everyday and really try hard to help people – serve and protect – you know – and then they put an [expletive] like that on the cover of the paper with a frickin badge of honor? While good ones get left out,” said Brenda Pascott.

According to other information received by Write Into Action, Grabanski witnessed other police misconduct and corruption that involved other officers, which will be discussed later in this investigative series.

Write Into Action will be publishing a series of in-depth investigative article of the police officers and the City’s dark history. 



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