One of the main reasons Ofc. Watt and Sgt. Erkenbrack got in trouble in the first place is because they raised concerns about a lack of investigation into the Ramirez incident. Here is information on the incident. Crystal continues to refuse to investigate this crime.
What happened to the Ramirez family?
The Ramirez family was suddenly and illegally locked out of their home after Brooklyn Park police officer Greg Burstad raided their home in Crystal without a warrant (and found nothing illegal), assaulted the grandfather Norberto, then changed the locks on the home. After four days, Burstad promised to let the family back in but they arrived to see a truck driving away with all of their possessions. A few days later, Burstad had Norberto deported.
The family reported this crime to the Crystal police. They asked about the investigation multiple times. Even the FBI asked about the investigation. But Crystal police took no action. Finally, the detective assigned to the case admitted that he was pressured not to investigate.
We filed complaints on behalf of the family with Crystal city manager, Anne Norris. She refuses to even meet with the family. The police chief responsible for stalling the investigation has since retired and Norris gave him a chance to get away without consequences. Norris claims there is an investigation by an outside investigator, Mary Dobbins. By her history, Dobbins appears to primarily defend cities from complaints. Dobbins never interviewed anyone in the Ramirez family. What kind of investigator doesn’t interview key witnesses? Dobbins then issued a report about her phony investigation that shows the true intent–covering up for the city (see her report and our response below). A REAL investigation needs to happen, not a sham cover up.
We’ve made three demands to the City of Crystal–that they investigate the original suppression of the investigation, that they actually investigate the crime against the Ramirez family, and that they identify where the Ramirez family’s belongings went and try to recover them. So far, they are a FAIL on all three counts.
What needs to be done?
We continue to speak out at Crystal city council meetings to demand an INDEPENDENT investigation by an outside law enforcement agency. Call the Crystal city council and make this same demand. Click here for Crystal city council contact info. Be polite but firm.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Councilmember Laura Libby has supported an independent investigation into the Ramirez incident from the start (she was at our demonstration even before she became a council member) and she supports justice for Ofc. Watt and Sgt. Erkenbrack. You don’t need to call her but if you do, thank her for her ongoing support.