An interview with Duy Ngo
Bob Collins, the writer of MPR's News Cut, spoke with Duy Ngo on December 5, 2007. Below is the full transcript of the conversation, you can also download an MP3 version of the interview. And you find the News Cut article here.
Q: Tell me about your journey from a boy in Vietnam to a cop in Minneapolis.
A: I remember bits and pieces of it. I remember a sense of urgency. We left April 30, 1975, the day Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Communists. We barely escaped with our lives. My father was in the South Vietnamese Navy. He was a chief petty officer, which was the rank of E-7. He spent 12 years in the South Vietnamese Navy. So most of the time after I was born, I lived on military bases.
We first landed in Guam, then we were at Fort Chafee. Then we were transferred to Oklahoma for a couple of months. And, interestingly, July 4, 1975 is when we came to Minnesota. Jeff and Karen Grosscup, they sponsored us and we lived with them for a few months until my dad got a job at St. Joseph's Home for Children. He started out as a janitor. Now he does a lot of maintenance and repair work, electrical work. Kind of a mechanical engineer. My dad was a diesel mechanic in the South Vietnamese Navy.
I grew up in South Minneapolis, went to Minneapolis schools and we moved out to the suburbs, out to Plymouth where my parents still live. I graduated from Armstrong High School in 1991. I was an athlete. I played a lot of sports, mostly wrestling, marshall arts, weight training -- the combat sports -- and between the junior and senior year of high school, I enlisted in the Army Reserve as a combat medic.
I went to basic training and then came back to finish my senior year of high school. When I graduated in '91, I went on to finish my advanced individual training as a medic at Fort Sam Houston in Texas -- that's in San Antonio -- and then I started college at North Hennepin Community College in 1992. I started in the nursing program. It's not what piqued my interest so I got into law enforcement classes.
I was working a campus security job, kind of a work-study job, at the college. I met a few people who were involved in a program called the Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council Cadet Program, where I worked as a cadet in the city of New Hope while I was still going to school.
Once I graduated, it was kind of a scholarship program where they covered your books and tuition, as long as you agree to work for at least two years with whatever northwest suburb police department.
In 1996, I graduated and got sworn in as a police officer with the City of New Hope. I left New Hope, went to Minneapolis in 1997 and I've been with Minneapolis ever since. I trained FTO - field training officer program, where you ride with a veteran officers and learn the ropes. You do that for five months; I finished that in early summer or late spring of April or May 1998 after spending about three or four months in the Minneapolis police academy as a recruit and then we got sworn in in December 1997.
I started on the streets at the end of '97 and then the middle of '98 is when I finished my FTO training program and worked as a full-fledged officer independently or with another officer depending on what squad we were on. I did that for almost five years when I was given the opportunity by my precinct commander, Sharon Lubinski, to go work for the Gang Strike Force, a job that is very coveted; a job that I always wanted and was grateful to get.
It was an all-encompassing law-enforcement job in that it included a little bit of everything -- investigations, enforcement, narcotics, gangs, guns. It's called the Gang Strike Force, but we concentrate on any organized crime, whether it's juveniles, adults, weapons, narcotics -- anything that has to do with organized crime.
Q: When you enlisted in the Army...
A: In 1990 is when I went to basic training. I enlisted. I went to Fort Dix, New Jersey for the basic training. I was 17 years old. So all of my adult life and some of my teenage life, juvenile life, I was a soldier.
Q: You had graduated from high school?
A: No, the it was the summer after my junior year of high school after I went to basic training, then I came back and finished my senior year so... I think it's only the Army that has that program where your parents have to sign off and say 'it's OK for my son or daughter to enlist in the armed forces.'
Q: Why the Army, or why the armed forces?
A: Part of it was, I was looking for a way to ensure that I could pay for college, and part of it was the adventure that I wanted to travel to different places and do different things. But most importantly, I wanted to emulate my father. He was a military man right after high school. He served; I wanted to do the same. Being grateful as American citizens and being able to escape the Communist rule of Vietnam, we had an opportunity at a new start in this country and it's always been a sense of duty for me that ... and I think it's that way with a lot of immigrants who escaped oppression from whatever country they came from. We always want to do something to give back. We take great pride in the ability to serve.
Q: In the Army you found -- or did you find -- a camaraderie? You liked it? Or not?
A: Absolutely. I loved the Army. It was ... the relationships that I built with all kinds of different people. It was the camaraderie. It was the loyalty. It was a way to learn leadership skills and to learn other skills that you can apply to your civilian job or just your personal life.
It was a chance to make extra income and it was definitely a chance for a little bit of adventure if the time ever came.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a cop and why did you decide you wanted to be a cop?
A: Well, I'd like to tell you as a little kid I wanted to be a cop and said I wanted to be a cop when I grew up, but that's not the case. It was actually quite the opposite. There were ... when I grew up in south Minneapolis, there were good cops that were school liaison officers or would come and teach us about what police work is and then there were negative contacts on the streets -- cops with bad attitudes. And I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you, cops with bad attitudes.
Anyways, I think it maybe either was a personality trait or if it was just the cool thing to do at the time but a lot of friends I grew up with went into law enforcement at about or around the same that I did. They're still on the Minneapolis Police Department or work for Twin Cities suburban police departments. And it ... whatever career or job that I was going to go into, it has to be interesting and exciting. It had to be something that I wouldn't be stuck in an office all day.
So to answer your question, 'why law enforcement?' probably because I'm an adrenalin junkie -- I was an adrenalin junkie, I still am to some degree. I thought that was the best way to satisfy that urge.
Q: When you were a patrolman, did you get that adrenalin? Did you get what you were looking for? Do you think you made a difference? Were there some particular instances that you can still remember when you say, 'I'm glad I became a cop. I'm glad I made a difference' on this particular day?
A: Absolutely. It was satisfying. It was. It fulfilled the desire to do the right thing. To feel good about going to work everyday. And I think the thing that I enjoyed the most was the chase. And I don't mean car chases or foot chases, I mean: the hunt. Pitting your wits and skills against the worst of the criminal minds and beating them at their own game.
As kids, when we played cops and robbers or whatever games we played, there were kids that wanted to be the robbers, and kids that wanted to be the cops and I always wanted to catch the bad guy. And I think every police officer feels the same. Nobody likes a bully, everybody wants to see the bad guy pay in the end and that's what we're all looking for. It takes a unique breed of individuals to do that kind of work and to enjoy doing it.
There's no job in the world like it, where you see a little bit of everything and you make contact with people from all walks of life.
Q: Did you find... was there on the Minneapolis force, anyway, that same kind of camaraderie you found in the Army? I've always heard cops always have somebody that they consider a brother -- not in a union kind of way but actually feel emotionally attached as a brother. Did that exist in the Minneapolis force?
A: Well, it definitely existed in the Army and the camaraderie that I thought I would find on the Minneapolis Police Department, I really never did find it. There were people that I really enjoyed working with, people that I trusted. But it's very cliquish. It's almost clanish, with a lot of the police officers, depending on where they work, what shift they work, who they work for, who they're friends with, what specialty units they've served on together. So, no, I didn't find that same type of camaraderie; not with Minneapolis police officers.
I did find it with other people who worked in Minneapolis who were not necessarily cops, but did some time of security of enforcement work. My best friends are not police officers. I got some close friends that are, but who I talk to the most, who I spend time with the most, who I trust the most, is someone who wants to become a police officer, who is not currently a police officer.
So I think the answer is: I didn't find the type of camaraderie that I was hoping to find and I think it's the nature of the beast; it's the culture of the police department that causes that.
Q: At the time, looking back now when you tell me that, were you conscious of that, it was cliquish or clanish, that same camaraderie wasn't there and if so, did that surprise you or did you expect it to be there and then were surprised when it wasn't?
A: I wasn't surprised because I heard a lot of things already and with prior law enforcement experience, Minneapolis always had the bad media. But I was familiar with the area, I grew up there, I wanted to work there, and I was always told, 'whatever you do, don't work in Minneapolis, go work in St. Paul, it's a much better police department.' I don't know if that's true, Minneapolis is the largest police department and the largest city in this whole state. We probably have the most activity, the highest level of crime and when I didn't find the camaraderie, and build the relationships that I wanted to or I thought should have been there in that tight-knit group of individuals doing this kind of work, it didn't surprise me and I kind of accepted it for what it was. I didn't let it affect how I did my work. I just didn't let it get to me because I didn't need ... a bunch of friends, a bunch of work friends, to enjoy the work.
Q: Did you have... I've always read about cops seeing the worst of the worst and really living a life among the worst of the worst and then having to separate from your home-life or non-working hours, is that a fair portrayal of life as a cop and did you find yourself having to deal with that in your early years or even later years on the force?
A: Absolutely. It's easy to bring your work home even though you shouldn't because things that people say and do when you're on the job can affect you. Because you're dealing with people that hate you because you're interrupting their criminal activity. You're interrupting who are bad people for the most part and you're dealing with a lot of the same problems day in and day out.
I think part of it was that ... part of the reason it didn't affect me to the degree it affects other people, other police officers, is I did not necessarily live and breathe police work. I might've for a short time, but it wasn't my life. I had other interests, other hobbies, and I did my best not to bring it home, even though I did at times.
And it changes ... police work can change your outlook on human beings. It can affect your perception of people. It gives you a very unique look at human nature, or I should say the ugly side of human nature.
Most cops I know have a very twisted sense of humor. It's a coping mechanism; it's how we deal with these small crises that we see, whether it's a death, or destruction, lives being torn apart, victims, people victimizing other people, and I believe that unless ... going back to your earlier question about camaraderie, you can easily find that if you join in certain activities, whether it's going drinking three nights a week with people on your shift, or joining the sports leagues or whatever team sports they play on. That's how police officers get accepted into certain groups. It is a heavy-drinking culture. I'm not a drinker, or at least I'm not anymore. So I think that's part of the reason I was never fully accepted, is I chose to stay out of a lot of those activities.
Q: Tell me about when you were offered the position on the Gang Strike Force and ... you were offered another position at the same time. Walk me through that.
A: Sure. In December of 2002, I graduated from nursing school and from LPN school, and it was a civilian contract position but through the Army contract, civilian school. I spent 2 1/2 years going to school fulltime and working fulltime in addition to my military duties and working five or six part-time jobs, I was putting in 90 to 100 hours a week on average.
After I graduated, I was looking... now that I had a few years of experience under my belt, doing police work, I was looking to go into some kind of specialty unit. I always wanted to be a gang officer because gangs are definitely a problem in the inner city, and over the years has spread throughout the suburbs, even the rural areas.
And then... so for years I let my precinct commander, now Assistant Chief Sharon Lubinski, at that time Inspector Lubinski, I let her know that these are my interests and I was offered a position with the CERT team, which is the Third Precinct Community Response Team. They do a lot of narcotics and prostitution work. And then, Inspector, at that time, Inspector Lubinski, said 'there's an opening on the Gang Strike Force, would you like it?' and I told her, 'absolutely.'
I was ecstatic, I was thrilled to get a job like that where you have your own take-home squad, you have a lot of autonomy, you do a lot more than just take police reports, you generate your own leads, build your relationships with informants, set up your operations, set up drug buys, do warrants, drug warrants, and then follow that all the way through, testifying in court, getting the criminals convicted. So it was an all-encompassing job, giving me jurisdiction in the entire state of Minnesota.
Q: And you were a pretty young guy, a pretty young cop, right? That must've been a bit of an honor, I guess, or a recognition?
A: Yeah, I definitely was honored that. It wasn't something that I asked for, because I didn't think that I would get it with the five short years that I'd been a police officer, so, yeah, that meant a lot to me when the now-assistant-chief Lubinski chose me for that and then recommended to the person who was in charge of that to have me transferred to that type of position.
Q: And that would've been when?
A: That was January 2003, about six weeks before I got shot.
Q: And in that time, in that six weeks, you're out busting up gangs.
A: I was having the time of my life. We were going to different cities and suburbs. We were going way up north to farms. Yeah, basically kicking down doors and arresting people, mostly narcotics activity, basically anything that can profit, that profits organized crime, we would tackle those profits.
Q: And so, on the night you got shot, in February, you were out there for what reason?
A: I knew that I was leaving in less than a week, not leaving but having to report in less than a week to my Army Reserve Unit, so honestly I was trying to put in as much time as possible,and tie up a lot of loose ends on leads that I had generated from an informant.
So there were a couple of addresses that I was focusing on, and I'd been out there an hour or two. I'd already called dispatch to let them know what I was driving and the area I would be in.
Q: You're out there, by yourself. You're in a car. And then what happens?
A: That's correct. I had moved, it was in the area of 36th Street and the area between Third Avenue and Clinton Avenue in Third Precinct. I move my unmarked squad a couple of times to different locations, so I could see if there was any foot traffic or any vehicles going in and out of these two addresses I was watching. These two addresses were within about a half a block of each other. And I was parked at the end of the alley, just north of 36th Street, between Third and Clinton.
People had been approaching me all night because it's a high narcotics activity area and I would, in so many words, tell them to 'get out of here,'...
Q: So they were trying to sell you? They didn't know you were a cop.
A: They didn't know, they ... either they were looking to buy or sell or looking to see what I was there for. They may have recognized me because I worked so many years in that area, but I was wearing a hat with a wig on it. I had a hooded sweatshirt, zipped up over my tactical vest, underneath that hooded sweatshirt was my tactical vest which has the words POLICE on the front and back in big reflective lettering and had a badge on it.
Q: This was under your sweatshirt?
A: It was ... my hooded sweatshirt was zipped up to hide all of this, so in case I had to spring into action, which I actually had to that night, then I could easily take off...unzip the hooded sweatshirt, and pull the wig off.
It was around 2 o'clock in the morning, I had the window rolled down so I could hear what was going on in the neighborhood. I was smoking a cigarette, which I probably shouldn't have been doing in a city vehicle, the employer's vehicle, but anyways I was violating department policy by smoking in my squad.
And this ... a very tall, black male entered mid-block in the alley, north of where I was parked. I was parked facing southbound, so I saw this figure in the rearview mirror.
Q: And it wasn't anybody you'd seen earlier in the night?
A: No, it was no one that I saw earlier that night. He had a big puffy jacket on, his hood was up so I could tell his race only because of the ambient light from the homes and streetlights, but I didn't get a good look at him. When he got up to my squad, he said something to the effect of, "what do you need or what do you want?", street lingo for "what kind of drugs do you want to buy?
I'll quote what I said, which is "get the f*** out of here."
At that point, he pulled a gun out and stuck it in my face. I tried to disarm him. I grabbed the gun, and tried to use a disarming technique. As soon as I grabbed the gun, he shot me, to the left of the heart and below the rib cage.
I've been hit by 300-pound linebacker playing football, and they don't hit as hard as a .40 caliber bullet. It hit me so hard, it threw me back in the seat, knocked the wind out of me. I had my tactical vest on, which saved my life, because it's body armor, bullet-proof vest.
It hit so hard it split the skin in three places. It's like if you punched your knuckles against a metal wall, your knuckles would split, because there's bone behind it. Well, there's no bone behind it, it just hit that hard, but it broke the skin open, left a mark that I still have to this day, caused some internal injuries, and I was fighting with this guy. We both had ahold of the gun.
I was trying to get the gun out of his hand. He shot four more times, at least four more times through the passenger door and the floorboard of my squad. At this point, the squad is full of smoke, the muzzle flash from the gun is going off right next to my face, he's able to pull away because of this big puffy jacket, his arm was sliding in his sleeve and I couldn't really hold onto him and he was much bigger than I was.
So, I don't know if you've seen the animation video but that pretty much details how it went down. I got out of the squad, ripped my wig off, opened up, ripped open my hooded sweatshirt, drew my gun and gave chase.
He crossed 36th, he went southbound into the alley across the street, and I started shooting at him. This was a deadly force situation, he had just tried to kill me. I was trying to apprehend him in whatever way possible. He gets about a third of the way down the alley, and he turns left, or eastbound.
I get to the point where he cut over eastbound, and I'm giving all this information out on the radio, and that was one of the other things that they doubted or they questioned in this investigation, how was I able to put out that information after being shot, well, that's just good tactics, that's good police work...
Q: That happens often, doesn't it, that people are able to do what they're doing and still are able to make the radio call?
A: Yes. In order to do your job effectively, to be a good cop, you need to, you should, and would get as much information out as possible, speak clearly and concisely, get as much information to your backup and that's what I did. I gave the suspect description, clothing description, direction of travel. I said I was in plainclothes.
When I got to the point where he cut eastbound, training took over. I used my tactics. I looked around. I didn't see him. I didn't hear him, I don't know if he ran into a house, or got into a car, or whether he was waiting to ambush me when I followed him between the houses and he would jump out and start shooting.
So I did what I was trained to do. I did a tactical reload. I attempted a tactical reload which means you dump your partially-spent magazine full of bullets and you put in a fresh one. At this point, I'm starting to feel the pain. The adrenalin dump is starting to wear off between the fight and the chase and the shooting.... when I was running and gunning at the same time, that really took the wind out of me. Even though it was a short sprint, already you're wrestling with someone from a seated position, you have no leverage and getting shot prior to that really takes away your steam.
Anyways, I pulled out my second pistol, which is the same as my duty weapon, which is a Beretta 92F, so I had a gun in each hand and I thought if this guy had other people with him... if he pops out somewhere, I'm going to shoot him. And I didn't see him anymore. I'm looking around, I start walking back to my squad, I put out some information on the radio.
When I get to the mouth of the alley, just as I'm entering the street, a Fifth Precinct squad flies by me, I'm sure it was tunnel vision. I saw them because they were in a squad. They didn't see me, and kept going.
Seconds later, squad 331, Officers Storlie and Conway's squad. I see their headlights in the distance. Now I'm really hurting and now this intense pain is in my abdomen. I go to my knees. I'd already dropped the gun that was in my left hand, and then I ... when I went to my hands and knees, I dropped the gun that was in my right hand.
I'm holding my left abdomen because it was hurting really bad and they stopped their squad about nine or 10 feet from me. Without any verbal warning, without any commands, without provocation, Officer Storlie jumps out and lights me up with his MP5 submachine gun.
Q: So nobody is saying, 'freeze'? Nobody is saying 'hand's up' to you? Nobody is saying anything.
A: No, not at all. Nothing was said because I guarantee you whatever they told me to do, I would have done. I wanted to be rescued. I didn't want anything more than to get out of that bad situation. I wanted this guy caught. And obviously I couldn't do it myself; that's why I had to call for backup and I think the proof is...when we... the proof is that it was unlawful use of deadly force is when we looked back to all these police shootings, the public outcry is, 'oh, the guy was shot 25 times,' or 'the guy was shot 40 times,' if you have eight cops there and they all start shooting, being each firing an average of five bullets, that's 40 times, but there were two officers there, they were both in the same squad, they both exited at the same time, they both saw the same thing.
It's not a deadly-force situation. I didn't match the suspect description, even though they say I looked like a black male -- and they never said that in the beginning, that's what I mean about this evolving story. They say that years later. 'Oh, well, we shot him because he looked like a black male.' Well, you can't even shoot the black, male suspect... any black male if they're on their hands and knees.
But I know I don't look like a black male. I know that was an absolute lie. They had to say something to justify the deadline force, but there was only one officer -- Storlie -- who used deadly force. Officer Conway did not. He recognized that I was a police officer. I'm not sure how he recognized me, whether it was the badge or the insignia or just my face, but he didn't use deadly force. He didn't shoot. No matter what he says, he didn't use deadly force.
Q: And, so, you're shot. I've seen various numbers... 14, 15 times?
A: Well, 15 bullet holes. We disagree with their number. They try to say five. But I have 15 holes. I have five holes through the groin, three in my lower left leg, one in my lower right leg, four in the arm, two in the buttocks, and then if you look at any of the photographic evidence of my... photographic evidence that my attorney took, not that Minneapolis did, because they didn't want to photograph my clothing or vest, if you look at my jeans, my hooded sweatshirt, my vest, I got 38-some holes in all my clothing. I don't know how they get 35 holes out of five bullets.
We say I was shot at least six times, possibly could've been more. If we count entry wounds alone, there's at least six entry wounds. But who knows what they did with the bullet casings, who knows how they processed this evidence. They didn't find other bullet casings from the .40 caliber until later on. Those were still in my squad. So it's absurd, it's ridiculous and ludicrous to try to say I shot myself and those are the people who were not in the know. The people who were not part of this investigation or did not have the information because I don't care how good your are, you can't squeeze a .40 caliber bullet into a 9 mm gun. I was carrying two 9 mm guns and a .25 caliber; that's like trying to stick a golf ball through a soda straw.
Q: When you're shot now, are you unconscious? Did they come over to you? Do you hear them say, 'holy smokes, I just shot a cop!'?
A: They both advanced on me. I was worried that Officer Storlie was going to finish me off, or shoot me again. He had the ... his weapon pointed at my head when he started to advance on me. It's important to point out that they ... the two officers say that deadly force was the only option because they had no cover and they believe that their life was in danger by me. In reality, we know that's not true. I was not a threat to them. I was not going to shoot or use deadly force, or threaten to use deadly force against my backup, against officers that I called to help me. Nobody is that stupid.
So they advanced on me. Officer Conway said, 'Oh,shit,' when they rolled me over and saw that I was not the bad guy and that I was a cop.
I remember Officer Storlie asking me 'who else is out here?', meaning he thought there was another police officer there, or according to his depositions, that he thought there was another police officer out there and that I was not out there alone, and I told him I was the only one out here...
Q: And so he still hadn't made the connection that you're the guy that called on the radio? That you were the cop that had been shot? He's still looking for another guy?
A: That's correct, he was looking for another police officer. I don't know why he assumed that. I don't know why he assumed a lot of things.
Q: You don't hear him say, you hear the other officer say, 'Oh, shit.' But you don't hear Officer Storlie say, 'Oh, shit,' or anything suggesting that he just blew away a cop?
A: No, he didn't say much of anything. I was by this time I was in excruciating pain, between getting shot right near the testicles and getting shot in the leg and arm and butt. I said something like, 'you shot me in the nuts!' And I kept asking him, 'why'd you should me? Why'd you shoot me?' And while he was shooting I was screaming out, 'it's Duy, it's Duy! Stop shooting!' because they both know me, they both worked with me. But, I don't think either of them heard me because if either of them heard me it was too late, you can never put those bullets back into the gun once you squeeze that trigger. That's a tactical weapon, that he was supposed to be carrying locked up in the trunk, not in the compartment of the squad, not gerry-rigged in the Remington shotgun rack. It's for active shooter situations and there was nobody actively shooting when they arrived, it's for high-risk warrants, tactical entries, and per department policy, they have to notify dispatch or over the radio that they're deploying that weapon. So he was in direct violation of department policy by using that weapon because had it been locked up in the trunk, like it was supposed to, then when they arrived and if he was to go grab his weapon, that would've given me, him, Conway, any of us enough time to identify me. And he broke one of the cardinal laws of deadly force: you have to identify your target.
I mean friendly fire throughout the history of combat, whether it's urban combat, jungle warfare, desert combat, any kind of fighting... friendly fire as always been a problem. And there is only a few times that you can use deadly force. Nothing that they observed that night, fit that criteria because deadly force.... the authority to use deadly force, or take a life, or do something that could potentially kill someone is an awesome responsibility.
I like to use the Spiderman analogy. With great power comes great responsibility. He did not exercise proper judgment that night and he changed my life forever when he pulled that trigger. I... in looking back over these past five years -- and even in the recent few weeks -- I wanted ... and this is not taking anything away from Park Officer Mark Bedard... it broke my heart the day I found out another cop died.
I'd been on several calls with Officer Bedard, real good man. Great cop. I wanted to go to his funeral, and this might sound selfish but I didn't go because I believed that I should've been able to wear my uniform to go. Because of current medical restrictions, physical limitations, I'm not allowed to wear my gun, which I'm not allowed to wear my uniform, because that's a part of your uniform, your sidearm.
Anyways, when I was watching his funeral on the Internet and on the news all day, it just ... it was painful to see his wife standing there holding their two-year-old son. And then I became angry. I became enraged when I thought, 'that could've been my wife, holding my daughter, at my funeral' and I might not have even gotten a decent funeral, the way that they acted from the beginning.
I lived and they said all these things to me. Imagine had I died, what kind of story they would have told? What kind of picture would they have painted?
Q: You don't think they would have said, 'Duy was a hero,' throw a flag on his coffin, have a big funeral, show the grieving wife, the daughter, and hope anybody buys it?
A: Absolutely not. I think they would've done an even bigger job of the cover-up. I think the only legacy I would've been able to leave behind for my daughter, my family, is whatever story they told. Because there would have been no counter to that, there would've been no response, no rebuttal, whatever they tried to say... they would've tried to say happened... is the story that would've been accepted.
I lived and we've heard everything that they've said. We've heard how ... what kind of light they tried to cast me in. So we take that a step further, what would they have said about me if I died?
So to answer your question, no, I don't think I would've been buried as a hero.
Q: You're shot, now you're off to the hospital. What are you feeling now? Are you worried about dying? Are you (upset) because you got shot by one of your own guys? Where's your head at now?
A: Strangely enough, when one of my partners arrived on the scene, he jumped in the ambulance and let me know that he's there and he kind of helped me get through. He kept telling me, 'stay awake, stay with me,' and strangely enough the first thing I was thinking ... the first thing I thought of was my daughter and my wife and I kept thinking that I can't die, even though I was bleeding to death, even though I was in call kinds of pain, pain that no human being should ever have to experience.
I was in so much pain that I would rather have been dead than endure that pain. But the first thing that I said -- his name is Officer Campbell -- I said to Campbell, "did I get him? Did I get him when I shot at the guy." I was hoping that this guy was in the area, I was hoping that they caught him right away.
And, I kept feeling like I was going to pass out because I was losing so much blood, my arm was a mangled mess; both the radius and the ulna were shattered. And I kept thinking, 'what body parts am I going to lose?' because they almost amputated my arm that night, so ... and prior to that when I was laying in the middle of the street, I kept thinking, 'why are they having this conversation? Why are they discussing the shooting when they should've gotten an ambulance there right away?' So there was a delayed response in the ambulance, so even procedurally and tactically, I thought the moments, the seconds and the minutes after the shooting, I was thinking that was handled improperly.
Q: So is that the first time... were you consciously thinking, 'hey, this isn't right. They just made an improper shooting,' was it that early in the thought process that you realized that?
A: Absolutely, I knew what I needed to do to not be mistaken for a suspect. I know what to do when you're working plainclothes and there's uniformed officers that arrive, and there was nothing else I could've done on my end to not get shot, and it would've been as simple as one of them taking a second or two to identify me. Even if they thought I was a suspect, there's many things that they could've done, whether it's take cover behind the engine block of the squad, which means stay partially in the passenger compartment, back the squad up. Shout out commands or get on the P.A. and give commands over the microphone, so to arrive, get that close to someone who you think is the bad guy is making every possible mistake you could, tactically.
And, obviously because I was doing my job and I'm a cop, I thought right away 'it's wrong.' That, 'oh my God, I'm going to die,' and I kept thinking, 'it can't end this way.' Then I kept thinking, 'stay awake, stay conscious.'
And going back, we talk about the shooting, the officer-involved shooting, the friendly fire, about 90 seconds before that, I just got in a gunfight with a suspect and during that whole incident, I just had to keep thinking, 'OK, calm down, use good tactics,' because the adrenalin is flowing, I'm hypervigilant, all I want to do is get this guy, only I didn't want to make any mistakes, because I'm already injured, I'm hurt.
Q: And that's what training is for...so that something kicks in when the adrenalin is flowing and you're hurt. That's the whole idea behind training, right?
A: That's correct. We train so that that's... it becomes second nature, so you build the muscle memory so that in the situations where you have that adrenalin dump, all your fine motor skills go out the window and gross motor skills take over. So, yeah, unfortunately, there was not proper training for ... for instance, there was no policy or procedure in place to train on how uniformed officers are supposed to respond to plainclothes officers. There's been other... instances prior to my shooting, where plainclothes officers and undercover officers were almost shot by uniformed officers arriving on the scene because some citizens, somebody, some motorist sees a guy pointing a gun at another guy and the guy pointing the gun is a cop, but they don't know that, they call it in, squads get there and ... furthermore after my shooting, same thing happened only the uniformed officer missed, but it was downtown, it was a black male officer that had a suspect at gunpoint, the uniformed officer that arrived was on the SWAT team and he shot at the plainclothes officer, missed him. But that proves that there was no training, that it was ... that the patrol officers were inadequately prepared to deal with that and there are other police departments in this state and across the country, they do have that kind of training. And it's not just our undercover officers. At any given time, there are other agencies that operate in Minneapolis that are plainclothes or undercover.
So, they have implemented and training and policies to improve on that ever since then. In fact there's 10 or 12 different policy changes as a result of my shooting, whether it's on the investigation side or the operations side, the tactical side of dealing with this.
Q: And you were in the hospital for how long?
A: Two weeks, 15 days.
Q: And as I read an old article, I think it was in City Pages. The police chief didn't come to see you?
A: No, I did not see him once. I didn't see the command staff. They steered clear of me. I never saw the mayor. Olson, Chief Olson called my hospital room one day, about a week or 10 days after my shooting to let me know that my medical bills were being taken care of, which was a lie, because the city didn't pay my medical bills, the state of Minnesota did, and all these years the city now has to reimburse the state of Minnesota, but, no, even after I got out of the hospital, I did not hear hide nor hair of Chief Olson, and he assigned a high-ranking investigator -- a captain -- to investigate me as a suspect.
Q: How did you hear that?
A: I found out years later, during the depositions and during the discovery process when more documents were produced that, and one of these documents was leaked to the Star Tribune, probably by the same person that was running the investigation, but it was false information and it was fabricated and that I was the focus of this investigation, even though they found a mountain of evidence that proved that there was a suspect, there was another shooter, that I didn't shoot myself, that someone else was involved, someone that they assisted in getting away by shooting me.
I found out a lot of things that I wish I never knew and discovered about how they were running my investigation.
Q: And what about (Mayor R.T.) Rybak? Have you ever had a conversation with him?
A: The only time that I had a conversation with him was when Chief McManus had his press conference...
Q: To apologize to you, right?
A: That's correct. After he got sworn in, one of his first priorities was to come to my house, to meet with me, to straighten out a payroll issue, because at that point, I had gone three months straight without receiving any income from my employer... from the city of Minneapolis.
Q: And did he call you and say, 'hey, can I come over and talk about this payroll issue with you?' or did you contact him? How is it that the Minneapolis police chief ended up in your home?
A: A week or two prior to that I had spoken to Lt. Aaron Dondo, he was assigned somewhere in the front office as his assistant or whatever his title was. He contacted me. I met him at a coffee shop, I discussed a lot of my bitches and gripes, or cares and concerns, with everything that's been going on and I had mentioned that still at this time, I'd gone about 10 weeks without getting paid, and then Deputy Chief Dolan at the time -- Tim Dolan -- contacted me and asked me if it was OK if Chief McManus came to my house to meet with me and talk with me and I said, 'Yeah, absolutely.'
We met and had lunch here and I kept emphasizing and reiterating that this whole investigation really stinks, administratively this was being handled very poorly. About a day or two later is when, I'm sorry, about a week later, he came out with a press conference and Tim Dolan also called me and asked me if it's OK that Chief McManus does this press conference to dispel any rumors, to clear up whatever gossip is and conjecture and innuendo that's been flying around and I said, 'yeah, I definitely want him to do that.'
And about a day or two later is when he suspended the three high-ranking officials that, somehow, were in charge of this investigation.
Two of them, for sure, should've been suspended, and charged. One of them, Captain Mike Martin, should not have been suspended. But because of his rank, he got caught up in that. I mean, Mayor Rybak has testified that it was Lucy Gerold who went to him at the hospital and told him, 'yeah, Duy Ngo is a real cowboy. We think he shot himself to get out of military service.' And that came from Sgt. Mike Young, who is Storlie's buddy, who's on the SWAT team, who is the one who said that he believes I shot myself because my English is so poor, nobody can understand me when I talk on the radio, and he thought... he somehow pieced it together in his mind that I had someone else talk on the radio for me while I was pretending to shoot myself, and pretending to chase a bad guy through the alley.
And the whole setup, the whole thing, doesn't make sense to a logical and rational person because there's other ways if you don't want to be deployed or avoid your military duty, there's other ways to get out of it. A person who shoots themselves, who shoots himself, has to get severely injured to pull that off. And then somehow you have to somehow blame that on someone else.
Q: If you were to shoot yourself, you wouldn't have shot yourself in a bullet-proof vest, would you?
A: No, because that does not get you injured enough to prevent you from being... going on active duty with your military unit. Most people would not shoot themselves in the heart. Even with the vest on, a .40 caliber can stop your heart. You can die from that. Most people would use a smaller caliber and shoot themselves in one of their extremities -- a foot, or arm, or leg. Somewhere where there's minimal damage. So, there's no logic behind the rumors that they fabricated, that they made up to somehow justify or excuse their malfeasance.
Q: We talked earlier about camaraderie and the brotherhood. And now this is why: As you're recovering, even that night in the hospital, was there anyone on the police department that was a decent person to you?
A: Oh, there were many police officers that came to visit me, but that was the rank-and-file,it wasn't the command staff. It wasn't the leaders. It wasn't just the fact that none of these leaders visited me in the hospital, it was that they never followed up with me after that. They never checked in. Because if we reversed roles and I accidentally shot Officer Storlie, I would be calling him every day to make sure 'could I take care of anything for you? Can I do anything for you and your family?'
Storlie called my wife, once. Then he had to go real quick. He had to get off the phone. Never followed up, so that seemed contrived, it was almost like someone put him up to it to be politically correct, because he didn't want to have anything to do with me, or with my family after he shot me.
Q: You don't think he has legal advice that says, 'don't say anything to Duy because he's going to get a lawyer and you're probably going to get caught up , and whatever you say is going to come back and hurt you.'?
A: That's entirely possible, but I wasn't. If he maintained contact with me, lawyer or no lawyers, we weren't going to discuss the shooting. We weren't going to discuss a case that was currently under investigation. And then there's the human side of it. It's really tacky if you almost kill someone, to almost shut them out. It's poor etiquette. The honorable thing to do is to, one, admit your mistake and then, two, do what you can to rectify it.
So to answer your question, I think that's what he was advised to do. Again, if the roles were reversed, even if I were advised to do it, I wouldn't do it. He was fully indemnified by the city. They chose sides in the beginning. They decided to protect him. They chose to protect the wrong horse, or they bet on the wrong horse.
Q: Why do you think they chose a horse? And why do you think they chose that one?
A: I think that we have to keep in mind the SWAT team is very close to the police union. They're all in bed together. I think they always try to justify even bad acts and this was a bad act. I think it's victim blaming, which they quite often do.
We can use the example, I hate getting involved in these kind of politics but you go back to the recent lawsuit that was filed by the five black officers, that one of their high-ranking officials publicly announced that this victim who was killed was out there buying marijuana. Does that matter why he was out there? Does the victims indiscretion justify someone killing him? No. One thing has nothing to do with the other, but somehow they tried to cast him in this negative light, and I think so often they do that just so that they can somehow justify those bad actions on their parts.
Q: And that's a recent case -- last summer -- then you have your case. Before either one of those, did you see evidence of that in the department as kind of a systemic thing where they would leak rumors and information about ... victims or others to cover their own misdeeds or tracks?
A: I saw and heard it all the time. It was an epidemic. It was widespread throughout the whole police department. A lot of that is a defense mechanism; most police officers feel like they're unfairly scrutinized and they're attacked by the public and the media goes after them and reports on police actions negatively, biasly and unfairly. Even if it doesn't get into the public arena, I heard it over and over again. The victim-blaming game. I've heard over these almost five years now, I've heard every reason why that night that I was shot why I was wrong, why I made the mistake. I've heard cops say why I wasn't supposed to be out there. Whatever way that they've come up with to point out that if they were in that situation, they never would've been shot because they did the right thing and I believe that they honestly believe they have to say those things because otherwise it would become a reality to them that they would have to accept the fact that this could happen to any one of us.
I've heard a lot of cops take the position that Officer Storlie -- former officer Storlie -- and say that they would've done the same thing, they would've shot me, and that's based on the false information that they immediately began to spread around.
Q: As I understand it Storlie is back from his consulting work as a contractor for a company in Iraq, I guess, and has reapplied to join the force. How do you feel about that?
A: I didn't find out about that until recently. I'm indifferent about it. I believe Officer Storlie believe -- I know Officer Storlie believes -- to this day he wants to believe that he did the right thing. He even said that to me when I was in the hospital about two days after he shot me, he went to the hospital and said, "I'm sorry about shooting you but if I had to make that decision another 10 times, I'd make that decision every time. To which I responded that "regardless of what happens legally or politically, understand that this is not going to be personal, what I'm going to have to do."
My parents arrived soon after that, Officer Storlie as "the man who shot your son." He said, "I'm the man who shot your son." And, in our culture we don't touch much. We don't, like, hug. Both my parents embraced Officer Storlie as he started crying. I embraced the man with the only good arm I had left. And both my parents and I, my family treated him with the utmost respect even though he almost killed me.
And I don't know why he had a change of heart, why he... if he succumbed to the pressures of others involved -- his friends or the political leaders in this city and this police department -- but as far as what I think of him coming back? It doesn't matter to me. I don't have a personal axe to grind with Storlie. It's kind of the same thing when soldiers go out there and do their jobs. You don't blame the soldiers because they're following orders. He thought he was following orders. Did he make a very bad decision? Absolutely. Personally, do I believe he wishes he never squeezed that trigger. I know that he's got, unless he's an absolute sociopath, unless he has no morals and unless he has no scruples, he, I think in his heart of hearts he knows that that was the wrong thing to do.
Q: Tell me about the fundraiser they had for you.
A: Several people in the community, there was a grassroots effort rose up, they banded together, made several phone calls, got as many people involved, they even contacted the police union and the police union gave them a lot of lip service and said, 'oh,yeah, anything we can do to help,' they never lifted a finger to help. And none of them were there, none of them showed up, none of them contributed in any way .
The only person from the Minneapolis Police Department that showed up was Sharon Lubinski. A bunch of people from the Gang Strike force, a bunch of officers from the Gang Strike Force, showed up. Several police officers from other police departments in Minnesota, in the Twin Cities, and outstate, took the time to drive all the way here to attend this thing.
Mayor Randy Kelly, the St. Paul mayor at that time, showed up and gave a speech. It was a nice turnout, the event really well. It took weeks, months of planning to put all that together and my question was, "where are my brethren; where are the leaders of the police department?" They were too busy avoiding it.
In Rybak's deposition, he says that he was telling people not to get involved with me because I shot myself. I recently read an article, I don't remember which one, his aide or assistant said Rybak never publicly spoke out against me. Well, I've got dozens of witnesses from different community organizations that will testify that he did. He called Mayor Randy Kelly to tell him not to get involved with me.
Rybak said until the day McManus publicly announced that I didn't shoot myself, he always believed that I shot myself. Rybak's a liar. I don't trust him. He never can answer a direct question. He always gives statements or answers to questions that you don't ask, or what he thinks people want to hear and I think he's done a horrible job handling this whole debacle. He is the worst example of what a leader should do.
Q: You love being a cop?
A: Absolutely. I still do. I wish I could be out on the streets. I wish that I could do the type of police work that I once able to do. Because of my injuries and because of my physical limitation, I cannot do that. I don't know, maybe with a lot of intense rehabilitation and a lot of hard work, someday I'll be able to get back out there. I highly doubt it. Like I said, it's changed my life forever. There are many things that I'm limited to because of my injuries.
Q: But what you're describing, and what the depositions show, and I guess what the settlement shows, is a really messed-up place to work. You have a fundraiser and nobody shows up except for one person, the command doesn't come to see you after you've been shot while undercover on behalf of the city of Minneapolis. And yet you love being a cop. Most people would say, 'I'm out of here. I'll go work in St. Paul' or something. How do you square the way you've been treated and your love for the job?
A: I think that's a simple answer, which is: This is... I'm not attacking or condemning the brotherhood of law enforcement. I'm not saying every Minneapolis cop is bad. I'm saying certain people are corrupt. Certain leaders and, unfortunately, a lot of leaders at that time, and even currently, hold key positions, are in high profile positions in the department, just because of a small percentage of bad apples, no one can or should judge the entire brotherhood of law enforcement because I believe any of us who are truly crime fighters, who are truly the protectors, we answer to a higher calling.
This isn't about serving just the city of Minneapolis, or making just the leaders look good. This is actually, saving one person at a time. This is making a difference in people's lives, one day at a time. Yeah, I still love the job. I think it's an honorable profession. You have to be a good person to go into it. You have to be from, for the most part, from a good family and that you truly have to, as a true cop, you truly have to sacrifice a lot of yourself: your time, your energy, time with your family to spend the hours and days and weeks out there dealing with the worst type of people.
Q: You had your news conference last week after the Council approved the settlement, did you notice any change when you went back to work after that news conference. Or have you noticed any change over the course of the last year, the last two years, in how you're treated in the department?
A: Absolutely. To answer the first part of your question, the people that I work with on a daily basis, that really hasn't changed. They've gotten to know who I am. They believe what I've said, not just because I work with them but also because it's been confirmed by what's in official court documents, what's been reported on the news and the knowledge that they are privy to, just working for the police department.
As far as other colleagues, other co-workers, other police officers on the force, it's been a mixed bag. There's some that try to go the other way when they see me in the hallway, do their best to avoid me. There's some who ignore me when I say, "hello," or greet them. And then there's some who come around. In the beginning, they had their doubts, they had their beliefs that were put in their head but there's more people actually talking to me. I think it legitimizes and confirms my claim, my lawsuit, my statement of why this was wrong.
It was actually before they came down with the appellate court decision and before the City Council voted in my favor on this lawsuit, I think that it was actually more clear for me because now the lines have been blurred. Back then, before the court decision, before the vote, I knew who my enemies were. I knew who was against me, who didn't believe me. Now that people are acting differently, it's harder to tell what side they were on. Were they on the fence? Did they hop over the fence and get on the opposite side? So things are a bit more hazy now.
Q: I want to read you one thing that a friend of yours sent me...
I am close friends with Duy Ngo's wife and all of us have watched him suffer for 5 years now. He is a very brave and honorable man to refuse to allow; anyone even his lawyers fo "play the race card." Although I know there are many racist cops on the force; Duy never let that become a tool or weapon for any politician, lawyer or activist to use to further thier own interests. Everyone who know Duy, knows that he loves the brotherhood of law enforcement, even after his own co-workers have betrayed and abandonned him. Duy has a huge heart and would give you the shirt off his back. His parents are the kindest people I have ever met, and his wife is the woman that every man dreams of, beautiful, smart, tough, strong and very down to earth. Duy could have pushed this all the way to a trial and most likely won alot more mone y. Duy just wants his life back. He still wants to be a cop, although I can't imagine why. I can't even imagine the strength for one man to endure 26 surgeries, years of physical therapy, and almost lose his life, home and career because of a trigger-happy/shoot first, ask questions later poor judgemental cop(Storley). Everyone needs to remember this, Duy never wanted to sue the MPLS police, he gave them every opportunity to "Do the right thing." Instead they lied about their investigation and Covered-up the whole thing to hide their mistakes. I hope Duy and his fine family finds a small amount of peace in this long ordeal...We are all very proud of you my friend...Rock On Duy!!!!
Q: Do you hear more of this than you do the other stuff that you've described"? Do you get that sense that there is that significant part of the community that sees Duy as a pretty cool guy?
A: I hear more of that now. But after I was shot, that really showed me who my true friends were. I hear more positive from the citizens and the community than I do from the cops. It's almost split half and half. After the City Council voted, I heard a lot of negative things, too. All along the way for these past five years, I've heard things like -- these cops say -- they wish Storlie killed me. They wish I was dead, that I'm making the police department look bad, that it's my fault that I got shot, that I forced Storlie to use deadly force, and those are just a few things that I've heard. I've heard a lot of worse things than that .
I think the tides have turned. I think the public opinion is starting to shift...
Q: That's what I want to ask you about, that sense of what the public opinion was. Just as you told me earlier about being a cop and seeing the worst side of people, being a cop and seeing the worst side of being a cop, I'm just curious as to whether you thought the public opinion was against you because the public opinion inside that police force was against you? And I don't know whether it was or not, in terms of the public, I'm just wondering how much you've thought about that? Do you have a good perspective on what public opinion is?
A: I think that as far as having a jaded perspective on the bad people that you deal with as a police officer, it's 10 percent of the population that create 90 percent of the problems. So we're constantly dealing with that 10 percent minus a few exceptions here and there, and I think those numbers might be similar in the police department, where it's 10 percent of the police department that's causing 90 percent of the problems.
Most cops are hard working, honest people, good people who go to work everyday and do their jobs. And then you have that small percentage who are trying to build their empire, or build these micro-empires who are jockeying for position, who are trying to horde power, who are politicians with guns and they could care less about the citizens or other cops; they're in it for themselves. How much money can they make? How much political currency they can attain. And I think with this lawsuit being settled in my favor, it speaks volumes to how worried they were had this gone to trial.
One, they did not want to go to trial and, two, more than likely they would have lost at trial and ended up paying a lot more money,so I think the public opinion, especially on something like this comes from the police department because for the most part the public believes the police. The public believes if this is a story being told by the cops, it's got to be true. The cops can't like about this.
But, we've got to back up and see that the police force, the men and women that are police officers, come from the community. They're made up of people from the community, from the schools, from these towns, and the demographics are similar. The culture is similar, although sometimes to an extreme with cops. Because, like I said, they're a very unique breed. Some of the finest men and women I've ever met, some of the most intense people I've ever met, but you still have that 10 percent that cause 90 percent of the problems.
Q: You didn't play the race card. It sounded like you were under some pressure, or maybe not, to play the race card. Was that an option?
A: It definitely is an option. It was an option back then and it would've been an easy sell. This city, this department, for years has been a powderkeg ready to burst, to blow up in everyone's faces. There's a huge amount of racial tension. Whether it's justified or not, that's what's perceived by a lot of minorities in these lower-income neighborhoods, in these high-crime neighborhoods, and it would've been an easy sell. People would've bought it. And people would've jumped all over it .
A lot of these community activists, who will remain nameless for the purposes of this interview, I'm sure they would've loved it if another cop would've played the race card. Do I believe that there's an element of racism involved in how they treated me? Yes, I do. Do I believe that's a primary motivator for what they did and how they treated me? No, I don't.
And people are tired of hearing about race, so, no, I'm not going to play the race card, especially if that's not the main reason that they acted that poorly. We'll call it something else: incompetence, ineptitude, dishonesty, sloppy politicking, poor police work, but to immediately play the race card is, to me, being dishonest or not doing the honorable thing, because that would be like calling a spade a shovel.
Q: This is going to be a stupid question for someone who's just spent 2 1/2 hours here talking with you about this, but are you able to, especially after the settlement, are you able to, when I'm not sitting here, or when some other media isn't calling you or you're not talking to a lawyer or anybody else, are you able to be Duy the guy not Duy, the guy who got shot?
A: I still struggle with that everyday. I'll never get back everything that I lost. Physically, emotionally, mentally, the years of pain and suffering, the fact that I couldn't be the husband that I was supposed to be for my wife, the fact that I couldn't be the father that I needed to be for my daughter, the years that I couldn't pick her up or play with her, the fact that two, three, four year old child had to learn to be careful around her dad, and that she could easily hurt her dad, or the fact that I was laid up at times, immobilized, on crutches, in a cast, going through these surgeries, now that I've got the majority of the surgeries behind me, I'm trying to recover as much of that life as possible and be as whatever "normal" means, as normal as possible.
But it's constantly in the back of my mind. It's always something that I think about. Whether it's the physical pain that reminds me of it, whether it's the bad nightmares, whether it's the flashbacks, or the post-traumatic stress... yeah, I ... I've... everyday I work on regaining some degree of normalcy in our lives.
Q: What, over the course of the last five years, is the thing you heard that made you feel really better than anything else you heard? And what haven't you heard that would make you feel better?
A: During the settlement conference on November 9th, about 2 1/2 weeks before the City Council voted on this lawsuit, the president of the City Council, Barbara Johnson, was there, Assistant Chief Sharon Lubinski was there, and I thought as part of this settlement, that they were going to ask me to resign. And I was going to fight that tooth and nail. I was even considering losing this lawsuit so I wouldn't lose my job.
Instead, they did the opposite. They said that I've done a lot of good police work. Sharon Lubinski said a lot of nice things about me to the judge and it meant a lot to me because you start to doubt yourself after hearing all these horrible things about you. I was affected by these negative things that I heard constantly by people who never met me or don't even know me or never worked with me, that are just jumping on some perceived bandwagon and I ... it reaffirms the belief that I always had that I could do the job effectively, that I worked hard, that I was out there for a greater purpose.
As far as what else I could hear that would help me feel better about this whole thing? It's what I would not hear that would make me feel better about this whole thing. I wish people would just stop trying to drag up these old rumors that have already been dispelled, because there's no proof to it, there's no evidence. It's ridiculous, it was... they were lies made up by small-minded people and then other people ran with those rumors. Unfortunately, these small minded people also had credibility, so people took them at their word. They believed whatever lies that were created to politic against me and to justify Officer Storlie's actions.
For as long as I stay on this police department, long after I leave and many generations to come, they'll always tell those lies. They'll always keep spreading those rumors.
Just two days ago, a law-enforcement student told me that a firearms instructor on the SWAT team has been bitching and complaining, has been swearing and yelling about me and how I made the police department look bad and how they offered me $9 million to quit and I wouldn't take it and that I'd made life hard for other cops on the police department because of the policy changes and that I hurt his friend, being Officer Storlie, and whatever other things that they've tried to blame me for.
I don't agree. I don't accept it, because the policy changes that this department has made has only improved the police department in so far as how it's affected other people. I don't see where they can even claim they're a victim in this. Most of them, I don't see how they're even vested, because they weren't named in the lawsuit, and they were not negatively affected by the policy changes.
I think the only person that might think that he has the right to bear ill will or hold a grudge against me is Officer Storlie because he was the only individual named in the lawsuit. All these other people, they were not named in the lawsuit, the city was sued. So, yeah, to answer your question: it's not what I could hear, it's what I wouldn't hear that would make the difference.
Q: If you're daughter, many years from now, says to your and your wife, 'I want to be a cop.' Would you be OK with that?
For me, no. Being a father and having a daughter, no, never. I wouldn't be OK with it but if that's the path that she chooses, I'd do everything to support her. I mean it's kind of like my dad spent 12 years in the military, spent all of his adult life as a sailor during wartime, and he was never OK with it when I enlisted in the Army. But I won't discourage my daughter from doing anything.
My wife keeps saying that my daughter is going to follow in her father's footsteps and become a cop and I hope she does more than just that. I hope she goes forth and does much greater things and is better than I am, much better than both of her parents.
If she settles on just being a cop, then I hope she can carry on the family name with pride, but if I had it my way, she would never be a cop.