Northland family joins lawsuit against the BCA

Grieving families demand accountability from the BCA

A Northland family has joined other Minnesota families in calling for transparency and accountability from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The family of a Duluth man who died in an officer-involved shooting, is taking a stand to hold law enforcement accountable.

29-year old Zachary Shogren was shot and killed by law enforcement in Duluth back in February during a disturbance call.

The officer’s fatal shots were ruled justified. But the victim’s family has still not seen the findings of the BCA investigation that lead to that conclusion.

Thursday at noon, the parents of Zachary Shogren, Jim and Jenny Shogren and four other Minnesota families stood with a legal advocacy group that is suing the bureau of criminal apprehension.

Jonathon McClellon spoke at Thursday’s news conference. He’s the president of the Minnesota Justice Coalition. He said if county attorneys decide not to charge officers involved in fatal shootings, that data then becomes public.

“And at that point it should be provided to the families upon request, the law says within ten days,” McClellon said adding, “But, in some cases, folks here have been waiting a year, families who may have legal recourse for the death of their loved ones.”

McClellon said the wrongful death statute of limitations in Minnesota is three years. “So a year of time will run before anyone even gets to see what happened in the investigation,” he said.

Zach Shogren’s parents, stepped up to the microphone at the Thursday media briefing. Zach’s father Jim Shogren reminded the media that Zach was a military veteran who served our country for nine years in the Army, and that he was an Iraq war veteran.

“The police knew our son had PTSD,” Jim said. “They knew he had schizophrenia and they knew he was in a mental health crisis. So last February 24th, they were going to try to bring Zach in to get him the help he needed because he was really mentally ill.”

But on that February day Zach didn’t get help, but was shot twice by a Duluth police officer and died.

Jim said they’ve still not received any information from the BCA and feel they, and these other grieving families deserve better.

Jenny Shogren, Zach’s mother was overcome with emotion, but through tears said, “I just feel very angry. The person who shot my son received a certificate for an award. And we got a death certificate. That’s just horrible.”

These families want the full unredacted and uncensored investigative case files from the BCA to learn what happened to their loved ones.