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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Editor Says Police Retaliated Against Her

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - A woman who runs an online magazine claims Minneapolis harassed her and her son, and searched her home without a warrant, because of her news magazine, which has been critical of police.

Terry Yzaguirre sued Minneapolis, two of its police officers and the city attorney, and Hennepin County and the county attorney, alleging constitutional violations, in Federal Court. Her son Jerome Yzaguirre is co-plaintiff.

Terry Yzaguirre runs an online news magazine called "MPLS Mirror," in which, she says, she "has exercised her First Amendment rights to criticize police, including but not limited to Minneapolis Police."

Yzaguirre claims police officers have hassled her in the course of her reporting, and that police in suburban Bloomington tried "illegally" to obtain her daughter's cell phone, and cell phone records.

"It was directly communicated to Bloomington police that the phone for the daughter was part of the mother's subscription, that the mother was a member of the media, and her phone records were confidential and police should not attempt to view them," the complaint states.

She claims Bloomington police arrested her daughter, Nicole, "in retaliation for her exercise of First Amendment in violation of her First Amendment rights to take her to the Bloomington stationhouse (not the Hennepin County jail), to try to get her phone."

"Nicole Yzaguirre proceeded into litigation against a Bloomington police officer alleging retaliation for her exercise of First Amendment rights through her attorney to police."

Terry Yzaguirre claims a federal judge denied the Bloomington officer's request for summary judgment on Dec. 21, 2011, and set the case for trial, with Terry Yzaguirre as a witness.

"One day later, on December 22, 2011, [defendant Minneapolis police Officer I.] Raichert and John Doe defendant police officers of the MPD spent 1 hour and 20 minutes inside Terry Yzaguirre's home without a warrant, and without any non-police witnesses (having chased a potential witness away under penalty of arresting him if he did not leave), which allowed time sufficient to search computers, copy computer hard-drives, and otherwise interfere with Yzaguirre's media and other First Amendment rights," the complaint states.

"Minneapolis Police also: illegally arrested Jerome Yzaguirre and took him to the Third Precinct Stationhouse; illegally seized Jerome Yzaguirre's cell phone and had it for sufficient time to search it and download the contents. No warrant was shown to Jerome Yzaguirre, and investigation has shown Minneapolis Police had no warrant.

"Jerome Yzaguirre's car was towed without a warrant. Minneapolis police still have it to this day.

"Minneapolis police claimed to have a warrant for the arrest of Eric Yzaguirre (who was suing Hennepin County), but it was proven later that that was false: police had no such warrant."

Yzaguirre adds: "There is no known legitimate reason for police/investigators to be pursuing Terry Yzaguirre's phone records. However, based on history, it appears that Minneapolis and/or Hennepin County are attempting to create a factual basis to obtain a search warrant for Terry Yzaguirre's phone records which contain numerous confidential sources."

Terry Yzaguirre wants police enjoined from seeking her telephone records or other "media data," and punitive damages for constitutional violations.

She is represented by Jill Clark.

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