Murder of Police Officer Tied to Black Militant

Paul Gustafson, Howie Padilla and Curt Brown, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jan. 19

Jeanette Sackett-Monteon got some peace of mind Friday night. It was more than 34 years in the making.

“I’m so elated, I don’t know if I can talk,” she said Saturday morning at a news conference to announce arrests in the killing of her husband, St. Paul officer James Sackett. “When I first heard, all I could do was cry. I’m good at crying.

“I’ve cried for almost 34 years.”

Officials at the news conference were tight-lipped about the details that led to the indictment and arrests of Ronald L. Reed, 54, and Larry L. Clark, 53.

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“I expect at the trial there will be some discussion of what motivated this horrific crime,” Gaertner said.

Sackett, 27, was fatally shot in an ambush May 22, 1970. He had been on the force for 18 months and was working his first shift after the birth of his fourth child, who was 3 weeks old at the time.

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Friday’s arrests were not the first in the case. Five months after the shooting, Connie Trimble, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, was charged with first-degree murder.

Although she was later acquitted in the case, she testified during the trial that she made the fake emergency call at the request of a man whom she refused to identify, saying that she feared for her life and for her 8-month-old baby.

Trimble testified that she was living with Reed—her boyfriend and the father of her baby—at the time of Sackett’s slaying. But, she said, neither Reed nor Clark was with her when she made the call.

During Trimble’s trial, authorities identified Reed as a black militant. A social worker testified that she saw posters in Trimble’s apartment that advocated killing “pigs” and “whitey.”

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