Police association accuses Walz appointees, local media of ignoring facts to promote law named after a lie

Minnesota's largest police association accuses Walz appointees and the media of standing by as Democrats promote a law based on a fictitious story of a man who is wrongly said to have been killed by police.

Tim Walz and Toshira Garraway (YouTube/screenshots)

The head of the largest police association in the state is slamming appointees of Governor Walz and the media after an Alpha News investigation revealed an anti-police activist has been allowed to lie about proposed legislation at the state capitol.

Toshira Garraway has been telling local and national television stations, lawmakers, and protesters at rallies, that her fiancé Justin Teigan was murdered by St. Paul police in 2009.

However, after sorting through surveillance video, documents, and five different agencies’ findings, Alpha News revealed there is no evidence to support those claims.

In reality, video and reports from August 19, 2009 show Teigen sped off after being stopped by police and crashed his car into a cement pillar. He ran from the vehicle and hid in a dumpster. More than an hour later, a recycling truck picked up the dumpster he was hiding in. The medical examiner ruled that he died of “mechanical asphyxia” with injuries consistent with a motor vehicle crash.

The proposed Justin Teigan Law would eliminate the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits against Minnesota police officers in wrongful death cases.

Brian Peters, executive director of MPPOA, issued the following statement to Alpha News after last week’s investigation:

“Anti-police activist Toshira Garraway has repeatedly used this lie about police actions… to degrade police as well as promote her organization. It’s a shameful action, and it’s also alarming that some of Governor Walz’s appointees, who know the truth, don’t speak up when she repeats it. Many members of the media also continue to report her false statements.”

Peters is referring to Commissioner of Public Safety, John Harrington and Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell. Harrington was St. Paul’s police chief at the time of the Teigen incident in 2009. Schnell served as public information officer.

Videos from the legislature show they have both been present as Garraway recites her story of “police brutality” and a “cover-up” by St. Paul police. The video shows neither one attempts to correct the record.

Again, Alpha News reached out to Harrington and Schnell who declined to comment on MPPOA’s statement.

Peters went on to say that almost every House DFL member still voted to support the Teigan Law just last week based on her false allegations against police.

“Frankly, it’s offensive — and the worst part is that Garraway’s activism, based on her false account, seeks to diminish the good relationships law enforcement work to build with communities. Minnesotans, and those in law enforcement, deserve better,” Peters said.

Peters also said he hopes Garraway immediately stops repeating her lie. If she continues, he asks political leaders and members of the media to stop repeating it and giving her the publicity she seeks.

In a separate post on Facebook, the St. Paul Police Federation also criticized the St. Paul Community-First Safety Commission for allowing Garraway to spread her lies during a presentation facilitated by the nonpartisan Citizens League.

The Federation went on to write:

“This is not an indictment on the commissioners, but a HUGE failure on those guiding the Commission to deliver on an honest process that best serves our city. It seems courageous conversations are a one-way street for many…..The fact this occurred with ZERO pushback from those at the highest levels of state and city government and zero investigation or reporting by our local, and even the national media, is an indictment on the integrity of them all.”

Garraway formed a nonprofit called Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence in 2020. It was dissolved by the Secretary of State’s Office in January.