Police Reject Family’s Claim Fleeing Man Was Shot

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a West St. Paul man who died while running from police says the officers aren’t telling the whole story.

Police say they tried to track down 29-year-old Jason Yang on Nov. 13 after he got into a fight at Epic Nightclub in downtown Minneapolis.

Jason Yang died after jumping from the North 4th Street ramp in Minneapolis onto a freeway exit.

When the family looked at his body at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office last week, they claim they saw a bullet wound in Jason Yang’s body.

“This fall doesn’t make sense at all to me and I’m hoping to get some answers, that’s all,” said Mee Yang, Jason Yang’s wife.

The family became upset when the medical examiner allowed them to see his body, but would not let them bring a camera. The family brought Michelle Gross, who heads Communities Against Police Brutality.

Mee Yang and Gross claim they saw a bullet wound near Jason Yang’s shoulder. Gross filed an affidavit to have Jason Yang’s body preserved as evidence.

“They said that, ‘no photographer’ and we won’t agree to that, so consequently we will see them in court,” said Gross last week.

But police claim that at no point during the pursuit did they physically contact Yang or were gunshots ever fired.

“It is irresponsible for some individuals to lead a grieving family into believing these false accusations. These individuals have long been self-serving charlatans for the truth,” said Police Chief Tim Dolan in a statement released Tuesday.

That response wasn’t good enough for Jason Yang’s brother, John Yang, who he said he still believes there may be more to his brothers’ death.

“I think we are just really puzzled and question about everything. I think really right now we are just searching for answers,” he said.

At a press conference Tuesday evening, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner reiterated that Jason Yang was never shot.

“Clearly the only knowledge she had of the body was what she saw through a glass window. She did not review autopsy photos, she didn’t review the report, she didn’t confer with me or the pathologist who did the autopsy, she didn’t consider the internal examination and why that would rule out a gunshot wound,” he said.

Gross claimed to be a Registered Nurse in Minnesota, but WCCO-TV did not find her name listed in the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

More from John Lauritsen
  • Kyle.H

    police called to break up fight, then guy runs of highway ramp and jumps two storys, woulda been solved if the guy in the fight took care business, then no cops, no run, no death,

    • Monk

      There was no fight. The police and media are totally making this guy seem worse than he really is. And how do I know this? Because I was there when security shoved them out of the club.

  • Mark from MNtaxwaste

    No bullet hole! No case, just another way for people to make a buck.

  • Jay

    Quit trying to defend yourselves. If procedures were followed, and all evidence has proven your case, let it drop. Why give this family reason to question your innocense. Some people in pain, and grieving, have to have someone to blame, rather than admit to themselves their children are NOT perfect.

  • Carl

    “Gross claimed to be a Registered Nurse in Minnesota, but WCCO-TV did not find her name listed in the Minnesota Board of Nursing.”

    I believe impersonating a nurse is still illegal if she “rendered a diagnosis under the false claim of licensure.” that’s the next investigation CUAPB.

  • rb

    Don’t Run and none of this would have happened

  • Tsha

    You guys heard stories from media and police. You guys havent heard stories from the ppl who was there that night.

    During that night, the bouncers at Epic night club just kick everybody out. it was a cold night so many people have their coat in the coat lounge thing. so ppl were trying to get their coat, but bouncers just kick everybody out into the cold. then an argument started with some dude and the boucners. Jason Yang, then know the bouncers from the club go and get the bouncers for help. then police arrived and just started to pepper spray everybody. women, guys alike. so they ran, afraid of their life.

    c’mon look at it. 5 cops(perfectly fit) couldnt catch up to jason after they ran more than a block….. then, they wouldnt let jasons family go look at his family…. they tried to force the family to do a quick funeral……. family went to court and won….. they say the family can bring a photographer but now its deny. they say the whole family can go watch the body, but only the brother, jasons wife, their attorney and a nurse can go see his body.

    something smell fishy here. agree?

    • Carl

      You sound sincere but not one of the sentences in your third paragraph is supported by the news stories. How can you get each statement perfectly wrong except on purpose? That is fishy too. Agree?

      • Elizabeth

        It’s okay, karma goes ’round. It’s a never ending cycle. When does media ever tell the whole truth? When do people? Perhaps you all will understand or be a bit more sympathetic when something similar again happens that directly affects you.

  • Mn Nice

    Fishy indeed…dont run….dont jump….dont die…..life is so simple…..

  • wheres the innocense

    Police are not perfect nor are they law abiding (at least not ALL of them). Just look at the previous gang task unit. If cops have nothing to hide then let the family see what they need to see in order to get closure. By hiding things shows guilt. As far as “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY” how is the family suppose to supply the evidence if it is being hidden under lock and key?

    • Jill

      First of all, please learn to spell innocence. Second, the medical examiner’s office is in no way affiliated with the police department. They have nothing to gain by hiding anything, they are simply following their procedures. People are just feeding into this idiot Gross’s hype. It will never matter if she is proven to be a blatant liar, people won’t ever bother to learn or remember the real facts. Here, let me help you with your blindfold.

    • Sandra

      exactly, thank you so much for pointint that out.

  • Waste of tax dollars.

    This is a case of another family trying to suck tax dollars out of hard working citizens through a frivolous law suit. Don’t get drunk, start a fight and run from the police. I feel bad for the loss of life and for the family. However, the police did nothing wrong and Mr. Yang made a stupid mistake in a huge lapse in judgement. As for wheres the innocense, the judge made an unusual ruling to make the autopsy public to show that there was no cover up, they almost never do that. The only person who is guilty is Mr. Yang for poor judgement, and it unfortunately cost him his life. It is unfortunate that society is sue happy in this day and age. It cost taxpayers so much money. Lawyers have seen the City of Minneapolis as an easy target as they are quick to pay people off just to make them go away. They residents pay higher taxes to support the welfare of bottom feeding attorneys of who I am amazed can even sleep at night.

    • You think you got it bad on your side? pssh please

      OR maybe society should had used their money on training good police forces.

  • Kevin

    Hey MurderPolice…stop by my house…I would love to show you the flags I have from both those Officers funerals……may I ask what race of Immagrant you are? I love to know what race I paid to bring over here….so they can spue garbage like you…….maybe you should go back to whatever country you came from…..and hate cops there…..

  • Justice

    Kevin, you’re trash! You’re the messed up people that plague our society because all you see are colors. You act as if this land righteously belongs to you when you yourself weren’t even suppose to be born on this western side of the world, but rather the eastern side. You are the reason why there are so much hatred amongst the system and corruption.

    • Kevin

      And what immagrant or college dumb ass are you????

  • Monk

    The media and police are out to make this guy seem worse than he really is. Honestly guys if you weren’t there at Epic that night you really have no idea how bad security and the police were. I was present at the time and there was no fight. He and his friends got thrown out pretty violently simply because they didnt exit the club fast enough at closing time and they were upset about it (hence the argument outside which led to police being called for help). When the police arrived, everyone was heated and there was lots of commotion….security wanted them off Epic’s property and they were still upset about being handled violently by security. Instead of mediating, police immediately maced everyone who was shouting outside and this caused everyone to run. What happens next is beyond me but I guess we’ll never know.

  • Common Sense

    We are hearing this from one side of the story only. Media has never put much on what the family has seen and been through. People and viewers don’t see the WHOLE story because only one side of the story is being told…the story told by the police and the media. Why were there officers put on paid administrative leave? Why is no one from the club that night not speaking of what truly happened? We know that Jason was there with his friends for a ‘guy’s night out’ so what happened to those ‘guys’ that were supposed to watch him? How come they are not speaking? We need both sides of the story. If this was told from the family’s side, I guarantee you this story would be FAR more powerful.

    In the end, the story is still fishy. Family didn’t get to see the body for close to a week. The family was denied by a lot of things that didn’t make sense to what the Hennepin County Medical Examiner Office told them.

    I respect what the cops do and what they go through every night over there BUT the story seems too fishy from what we are watching, listening, and reading

  • Mn Nice

    Ummm….he had a BA of .25…..thats trashed..the autopsy report was released…..no issues….the Hmoung and Somailians all have issues with the Police. Maybe the should return to Somalia and Laos where the Police are much better…..dont run…dont jump…dont die…..life is so easy

    • PAIN

      Well you shouldnt be talking abt us HMONG or them Somallians people returning to – you might want to THANK umm let me see.. Oh yeah you want to thank the US president JFK for bring US HMONGs here for the battle that ya started and loss the WAR!
      So dont hate!

  • Doubts

    Well…let’s just say I no longer trust the MPLS police ever since I saw them killl that black man on the 500 block of knox ave. The said he died from his crash, but we saw how he really died. We saw them chase the man down and took their turn kicking him in the stomach. On the “news,” they said that he died from internal bleeding from his crash. Right…Why didn’t I say anything? Fear. And I thought that the man deserved to die since he was a suspect in a drive-by shooting…and it was some time after the Tyesha Edwards incident. Now that I think about everything, the police have been shady with everything lately and I should have said something. With the Fong Lee case, why can’t we see all of the video from from start to finish? Did someone plant a gun? We don’t know because they won’t let us know. Instead we get a small clip of the edited video. I’m sure the Jason Yang video will be edited, too.

    There must have been some witnesses there at the club. What about dashcams? Aren’t MPLS police cars equipped with dashcams?

    I wonder…

    • Carl

      What a convenient weblog confession. I think you’re a liar.

    • Hmmmmmm

      The reason that you can’t see the entire video of the Fong Lee shooting is that the media can’t play the whole thing due to graphic content. You should realize that there are things that are not acceptable to show on the evening news Doubts. You are a complete ignoramus and have no clue what you are talking. Maybe you should start a debate that it is based on facts and not opinion.

  • TwinCitiesJay

    There’s no shortage of people that want to inflame a situation for their own benefit–or simply to vilify the police. Ridiculous. This is a sad situation, but how anybody could convince themselves or anybody else that the guy had been shot is beyond me.

  • Sandra

    The press can’t say everything since the case is open and believe me they are not telling everything. So fo all these comments to be made is rediculous. And unless anyone was there that nite and saw what really happened these comments are moot. It is unfair to say the family is after this or that, they simply want the truth and to be quite honest the way way this has played out looks fishy and time will tell.

    • This is moronic....

      It was a puncture wound from a clavacle that was completely snapped in half from a 70 foot face first fall onto concrete, not a gunshot wound. Maybe the family should review the autopsy pictures and meet with the pathalogist, instead of listening to Michelle Gross who states that she is an RN when she is not. There is no record of her being a licensed nurse anywhere. When you are being fed a bunch of lies by a crazy person and a pathalogical liar who plays on your emotions, I can see how a family’s judgement can be clouded.

  • V

    Let me put it this way, the Minneapolis PD is stupid and can’t hide this. How come the family couldn’t see the body right away? Do they have something to hide? It’s like, crashing your friend’s car and telling your friend that you didn’t get into a car crash when CLEARLY it’s been crashed. Sorry Minneapolis PD, you have failed greatly at trying to hide this. The truth is there. They are just lucky to have MONEY because TO HAVE JUSTICE, YOU NEED MONEY!!!!


  • A student

    I find it sad that people are discounting the validity of facts outside the news so easily. Did it ever occur to you that the family might know more about the situation than you who are reading a news article that may or may not be biased? Regardless of whether or not Jason was shot, you can’t deny that the family feels like there’s more to the story. The question is why? What facts are they looking at that you don’t know?


    MN is full of white racist. Thank god I don’t live there anymore.

  • ManWhatThe F ya fighting for, CHANGE for love of God. Be smart

    you click here and you read there. You see comments like these, lowly as it can be, where people fight because of race backgrounds. man this is why anit no smart ass doctor going to fight with us, because we middle class people are not bright enough to see a bigger picture.

    Here this is what i see-
    A police force that still needs alot of work when it comes down to crime fighting- what ways could they had solved the epic night issues- Help give the club goers their coat. Or maybe approach Jason without guns pointing to his face.


    The media like these should start cracking case too, because this scary world-syndrome method is getting quite old.

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