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Keefe v. City of Minneapolis

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 11, 2015

Michael Patrick Keefe, an individual, Plaintiff-,Appellant
v.
City of Minneapolis; Tim Dolan, former Minneapolis Chief of Police, in his personal capacity; and Janeé Harteau, Minneapolis Chief of Police, in her official capacity [1], Defendants-,Appellees

Submitted October 7, 2014.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

For Michael Patrick Keefe, an individual, Plaintiff - Appellant: Albert Turner Goins, Sr., GOINS LAW OFFICE, LTD., Minneapolis, MN; Damon Ward, WARD LAW GROUP, Minneapolis, MN.

For City of Minneapolis, Tim Dolan, Minneapolis Chief of Police, personally and in his official capacity, Defendants - Appellee: Tracey Nelson Fussy, Sara Jeanne Lathrop, Sarah C.S. McLaren, Timothy S. Skarda, MINNEAPOLIS CITY ATTORNEY, Minneapolis, MN.

Before MURPHY, SMITH, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.

Michael Keefe sued the City of Minneapolis (" City" ) and Tim Dolan, the former Chief of Police for the Minneapolis Police Department, for various federal and state claims. The district court[2] granted the defendants' summary judgment motion as to Keefe's federal claims and declined to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state claims. Keefe appeals this ruling, and we affirm.

I.

In March 2007, Keefe, a lieutenant of the Minneapolis Police Department (" MPD" ), was assigned to be the commander of the Violent Offenders Task Force (" task force" ). The task force was a collaboration between multiple agencies, including the MPD, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (" FBI" ), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (" ATF" ), and the U.S. Attorney's Office. MPD leadership removed Keefe from the task force in August 2007, and Chief Dolan demoted Keefe to the rank of sergeant in September 2009.

During Keefe's time as commander, the task force conducted a wiretap investigation of a gang. Keefe learned that some gang members had threatened to kill police

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officers. Keefe told an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an ATF agent about the threat. Believing that local law enforcement should be notified, Keefe also told a local police chief that the U.S. Attorney's Office would brief the chief's department about an ongoing investigation. ATF officials believed that this disclosure was inappropriate because the investigation involved a wiretap. Accordingly, an ATF supervisor emailed Keefe stating that he was " a detriment to this investigation," had " exhibited . . . poor judgment in making [an] unauthorized disclosure," and was " prohibited from entering ATF office space." An ATF agent forwarded this email to Keefe's captain.

Later, as part of an unrelated investigation, the FBI and the MPD arrested a suspected gang leader. During an interview, the suspect named six MPD officers who he claimed were corrupt. Four of these officers were African American and two were Caucasian. The suspect's claims triggered a corruption investigation into the six named officers in which the suspect served as an informant. Keefe, who is Caucasian, doubted some of the informant's claims and confronted the informant about his allegations during a second interview. Keefe claims that this second interview exposed inconsistencies in the informant's story, but an FBI agent thought Keefe's questioning was harming the investigation and ended the interview. Keefe then held a meeting with other task-force members and explained his belief that the informant was ...


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