Phil Quinn’s Murderers (St. Paul Police) Cleared by Grand Jury

St. Paul, MN – On Wednesday, February 18, St. Paul police officers Joe LaBathe and Rich McGuire were cleared in the killing of Phil Quinn. During Thursday’s press conference, authorities released the dashcam footage and 911 transcripts of the incident.

In a bid to win over the community’s trust at the press conference, St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi provided the most details of a police shooting in the department’s history. A timeline and video were provided to the media to describe, from the police’s point of view, the actions stemming from the suicide call that then resulted in the murder of Phil Quinn.

Phil Quinn

On September 24, 2015, Phil’s family called the police in hopes that they would receive assistance for Phil during a mental crisis.

Phil, who was schizophrenic, was fresh out of St. Josephs Hospital and was waiting for a bed to open up at a center to receive help. His friends and family called 911 several times and said he was suicidal, had a screwdriver in his hand, and had hurt himself.

Upon arriving at the scene, the police notified each other that Phil was by the garage and walked up to him with their guns drawn. After about four minutes of various movements, it’s visible in the video that Phil moved out from the garage, past his fiancee Darlene and their daughter, and toward an officer.

Police came to the mental crisis call with their guns drawn

Police Chief Smith claims that Phil was the one who “initiated contact with St. Paul police officers” but also visible in the video is that Phil is gunned down well before he reached that officer.

Smith also says that the officers were there to diffuse the situation knowing it was a mental crisis check. The video shows the officers planned to diffuse the situation of a man holding a screwdriver, in a known mental health crisis, by approaching with guns drawn.

In the four minutes that transpired, officers showed no non-lethal approach to the situation. Chief Smith says because of the quickness of the incident there was “no opportunity for the officer to use a taser.” Four bullets were fired, two of which struck and killed 30-year-old Phil Quinn.

With the spotlight on the police abuses across the nation and calls for the defunding of the police, mental crisis issues have yet to be solved. So far, those in power have only come up with the solution of more role-playing, trainings, and Crisis Intervention Teams that since their inception in 1988, have consistently shown that the answer has yet to be found.

Phil Quinn’s case is reminiscent of so many other mental crisis calls that turn into death sentences inflicted by the State. Among the more prominent incidents in the Twin Cities area are Barbara Schneider (2000), Alfred “Abuka” Sanders (who was shot 33 times in 2000), Derek Wolfstellar (2015), and Michael Kirvelay (2015) .

In January the Assistant Chief of St. Paul, Bill Martinez said they will not be investigating themselves in the aftermath of a police murder again (after the Phil Quinn case) and will instead refer the investigations to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office or the BCA. St. Paul is the deadliest police force in the state of Minnesota, having killed at least 13 people since 2009.

The media below is Unicorn Riot material related to Phil Quinn’s death by police.

In December, we livestreamed Phil’s fiancee Darlene speak about one of the officers that killed Phil being assigned to police a protest that was partly in Phil’s honor:

In early January, in amazingly cold temperatures, protesters hit the streets of St. Paul, blocking traffic and the light rail and eventually bringing their message to Cub Foods, Wal-Mart, and Target:

Phil’s fiancee Darlene spoke at the Broken Hearts Rally, this is an excerpt from the post:

Darlene Hane spoke on Philip Quinn‘s murder by the St. Paul police during a mental health check. Darlene said that Michael’s family’s story remind her of their own. Their family is on the verge of the grand jury, and she couldn’t give date’s or times, because if there are protests the grand jury will be postponed. She stated she felt censored.

Darlene said she’s dealing with the police again, not with someone on her side. She told those gathered that the County Attorney said that she must feel upset, because she was the one who called the police for mental health check to their house. Darlene said the process makes her feel like it’s a joke, a waste of time, a game. She was held for 4 hrs afterwards and asked for a lawyer and a doctor, and the police continued to hold them in her room. Phil’s mother was also held at the station until they called a lawyer.

Darlene’s daughter shared her story, she said, “I read on facebook RIP Phil. And I just knew that he was dead. So I asked my grandma and she let me know the final word–that he was dead. Then I start running to over where it says do not cross to go see my mom because I really missed her. They pulled a gun out on me and put me a squad car.”

Darlene told everyone that, “Black Lives Matter came to my house, and knocked my door, and offered help. I never got any of that from the police, they just treat me like it’s our fault it’s always our fault, nothing is their fault.” Darlene, a registered nurse also stated she tried to render aid to Phil Quinn after the police shot him and handcuffed him. They restrained her and she watched him bleed out.

Here is the Livestream of the emotional speech she gave along with her children (23:30 mark):

To help our volunteer-operated horizontally-organized non-profit media collective, please consider a tax-deductible donation:


More from Unicorn Riot 🦄