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NUPD disciplinary report: Issues cited in Rasmussen’s punishment for fatal crash

July 19, 2013

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Police Department officer involved in the double fatality crash on July 8, 2011 was suspended without pay in April 2012 because of the accident, and he had other issues in the......

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Jul-19-13 3:26 AM

So 1 1/2 days per life? If it were anybody else, it would be years in prison and major Lawsuits!! He was clearly in the wrong and even lied about having his emergency lights and sirens on!!!

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Jul-19-13 8:16 AM

This is what happens when you have a chief of police who is too nice. Anyone of us cost our employer this amount of money and we would loose our jobs. Go that fast down the street and we would end up in jail. lets see if the city does something now... doubt it

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Jul-19-13 8:54 AM

I agree with the last two comments. I am sure Myra and Brian the victims in the crash would want justice for what happened to them. I mean there lives were cut short due to a mistake made by an officer. He did not even have his lights or sirens on chasing a speeder. If we allow this to go on without making a big deal who knows if something like this could happen again and someone else be hurt or killed. I am sorry but I do not feel safe driving in my own town. I drive garden street quite often and it just gives me chills. I think he should not be allowed to be a police officer anymore.

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Jul-19-13 9:46 AM

we appreciate knowing the action taken by the department, as it appeared nothing was done. It's not easy being an officer, especially w/drunk, spitting people, but it sounds like this officer needs to go back and repeat college! Past reprimands prove this. Show some professionalism! His discipline is too light. If this happened to a public person, he'd be serving time in jail. I say he's on thin-ice and better consider a new career.

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Jul-19-13 10:53 AM

Thanks to the person who posted the video at liveleak dot com. Looking at the video the officer should have expected the vehicle to turn in front of him. A driver 3 seconds before the crash turned into the same driveway. What does an officer have to do to get canned by the NUPD? 3 days off and keep a log of daily activities? What a Joke! Every officer should keep a log of daily activities! A chief is only as good as his officers.

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Jul-19-13 10:55 AM

Ya ya, old news. What about the cover-up? What about patrol officer Gramentz taking statements of witnesses for the state patrol? The state police were supposed to do the investigation. Isn’t he the city manager also? Or isn’t he also the Sr clerk for the NUPD? I want to know. This was Rassmussen’s modus operandi. Over and over again. What power does this guy have over the Chief? Is he the one that bailed him out of the DWI charge? Something is fishy here. That is why I’ve contacted the FBI with the information I have on my web site. The truth will come out. All of it. Prepare yourselves New Ulmites, this has only just begun. This was never about money for me. I don’t need it. This is about rescuing my home town from the metastasized corruption that exists. This has never been about some cowboy cop. This is about something far more insidious. Sincerely’ Dana Wichmann

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Jul-19-13 11:59 AM

bad cop, no more donut's for him.

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Jul-19-13 12:43 PM

There has never been a mention of the culpability of the other driver. Maybe this will be considered harsh and politically incorrect in a town filled with octogenarians, but when you lose your ability to judge the speed and distance of a car in the lane that you are about to cross, it is time to surrender your driving privileges.

This was not my fight until I, as a New Ulm taxpayer, was drawn into it. The settlement I have no problem with. The threat of further action and the charges of corruption against good people who work to keep me safe every day, I do have a problem with.

Get some grief counseling Mr. Wichmann. I have lost people who were very dear to me in an avoidable accident. Trying to get your pound of flesh will only leave you vacant and bitter, and it certainly does not bring back those you loved. You are doing nothing substantive to make the City of New Ulm a better, safer place to live, but you are costing us all a great deal of money.

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Jul-19-13 2:36 PM

Reason2Puke-I appreciate your ability to express with sensitivity and sensibility the thoughts that I couldn't find words for myself.

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Jul-19-13 3:54 PM

Do not, I repeat do not let something like this go to a grand jury with a cop or a important person. Go right to a civil lawsuit before it can go to a grand jury. If your lawyer wants to go to a grand jury, get a new one fast. A grand jury will always find a cop innocent or a lesser charge. This also has the result of blowing the civil trial which is the purpose. The county attorney is the grand jury. He runs it and picks most of it. It is a closed session and you do not even know what happened or the names of the so called hand picked jury. Study up on a grand jury.

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Jul-19-13 4:47 PM

Sounds like a cover up to me

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Jul-19-13 5:33 PM

Reason2Puke, or should I say councilor. My accusation is clear and simple. This cop was witnessed doing the exact same thing in the exact same area multiple times before. It’s documented and sworn to. The cop through some twisted logic would turn his lights and or siren off when traffic cleared and continue his pursuit if that’s what he calls it. At first I thought he probably did this to turn the camera off as not to record his incompetence. As time passes and more pieces of the puzzle appear I’m really thinking there is much more to this story, shockingly more. The putrid facts are getting clearer with each email I receive. I was always told the cream rises to the top but in my 60 years I have found that crap rises even faster if it has enough fat in it. Dana Wichmann

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Jul-19-13 8:59 PM

I am pretty sure the driver turning saw the police car a long way away before turning considering the officer was going twice the speed assigned to the street. Considering the driver was over 80 yrs old may have something to do with it too.

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Jul-19-13 10:13 PM

When one says the victim(s) should have seen or been able to judge the speed of which the officer was driving I offer you the following. Officer Rassmussen was traveling 103 feet a second based on 70 mph when he should have driving 44 feet per second or the posted speed limit. Sad story but one that could have been prevented. There are many of us who could have been in this exact same situation.

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Jul-20-13 8:54 AM

Dana, First of all I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mom and brother I can only imagine the pain your are in. As a fellow class mate I had the privilege of meeting your mom and brother. Two of the sweetest people you could ever know. This should not have happened and I hope you get the justice you desire.

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Jul-20-13 8:59 AM

Wow! If this was a story out of the LA time about the LAPD, I think it would be an easier pill to swallow. LA, big city, stuff happens; NU small town, people are suppose to be to dumb to think of something like this. I really have to agree with though that this is not a done issue. Two people are dead because of vicarious incompetence. One because a dumb cop was allowed to continue his stupid behavior after being cough several times, and a PD that essentially permitted the bad acts to continue; inadvertently or overtly, doesn't matter. Just curious - Does the name, 'Brennan' ring a bell?!

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Jul-20-13 7:58 PM

You got your money just let it be. Any lawsuits you start will only hurt the city of New Ulm. I think officer Rasmussen should no longer be allowed to be a New Ulm police officer. His tactics in catching speeders was to sneek up on you and get right on your ass and then turn on his lights and sirens. I have seen this in town many times not just him.

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Jul-21-13 8:20 AM

Hippie, "Any lawsuits you start will only hurt the city of New Ulm." In this case, that statement is sounds like a B.S. cop-out to justify inaction! Check the record books, if memory serves me right, the body count of the NUPD goes a little beyond the 2 talked about in this story. Reality check: Leave this one alone and you are condoning the problem.

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Jul-21-13 8:08 PM

You know, I decided to do some checking of Minnesota Courts Public Access records on line to see why Dana Wichmann hates the police so much. Do the search people and you'll see what he's been up to and he complains about the officer's driving habits?

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Jul-21-13 9:11 PM

Ah MakeMyDay, most people don't have the kind of access you have to "public"records. I assume your referring to the night I drove by a cop on a stop and honked my horn at him, proceeded up to the next intersection, hung a U turn and drove by him again and yelled, "EAT ME" as I drove by? I got $180.00 fine and 6 months probation but it was worth every penny to get that out of my system. Oh ya, my insurance more than doubled. I don't think the cowboy cop even got a speeding ticket. And another thing, are you the big red or the big black?

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Jul-21-13 11:11 PM

FYI, If not for the ‘attempted’ coverup this case would have be prosecuted, the officer fired and that would have been it for the punishment phase. On to the civil case. If the city would not have claimed responsibility for the officer the settlement could have been considerably less. Now I’m told this was an unusually high settlement. Oh well on to the punishment phase, again only this time without the cover-up. Perhaps you should look closer to “home” for the lawyer responsible for your woes. You do know that settlement is funded by “The League of Minnesota Cities”. That means most cities in Minnesota are paying for New Ulms’ incompetence. I wonder how they feel.

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Jul-22-13 2:50 AM


But internal police department documents say Rasmussen's actions demonstrated "substandard decision making," that his performance constituted "misfeasance of duty" and that the department had been notified more than once about his "aggressive" driving. The file also indicates he was too focused on ticketing traffic violators and mentions other complaints about Rasmussen's driving: "New Ulm Police Department administration has been notified by the public and a member of another agency that Officer Rasmussen's driving conduct had been aggressive."

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Jul-22-13 3:02 AM

NUPD Chief Myron Wieland declined to comment Thursday on Rasmussen's disciplinary report, citing the need to review the file before making any statements. How many times in the last 2 years has he made this statement, my count is seven. Me thinks hes a member of the Possum Brotherhood; (QUANDO OMNI FLUNKUS MORITATI)

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Jul-22-13 10:26 AM

NEWS FLASH: Sisyphus gets one up the hill!

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Jul-22-13 5:17 PM

This most recent series of posts has brought tremendous clarity to your issues. Thank you for that.

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