Police: Man Falsely Said Black Male Among Shooters

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Police say they believe a Duluth man made two false claims to a 911 operator: that someone else inflicted his gunshot wound and that a black man was among the purported assailants.

The Duluth News Tribune reported Friday that Alcide Thomas Cloutier, 34, made the 911 call Jan. 22 after he suffered what police have determined was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen. The newspaper obtained a transcript of the call.

Police spokesman Jim Hansen said he wouldn’t speculate on why Cloutier said a black male was involved, and that police had no reason to believe it was a racist incident.

Cloutier, who has a criminal record, is now charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm within a municipality. He has not been charged with falsely reporting a crime. The newspaper says he couldn’t be reached for comment in the hospital where police said he’s still being treated for a gunshot wound to the left side of his lower abdomen.

According to the criminal complaint, Cloutier told police he saw a female being assaulted by two males inside a vehicle. He said he stopped to intervene and one of the men shot him. According to the 911 transcript, Cloutier said one of the males was black.

Claudie Washington, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, said he believes Cloutier’s claim was racist. He speculated Cloutier’s motivation could have been to “legitimize his complaint by saying a black person was involved. . I commend the police department for not buying into the story.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • albert

    Nothing gins up the Duluth cops more than the notion that one of their 3 black male residents is getting uppity.

    • Marge

      Ah, what’s wrong Albert? Do white men give you a tummy ache? Toughen up or stop whining.

  • Greg Laden

    This might be a good example of a hate crime. It might also be a good example where soft-on-crime conservatives decry that the man is in such pain because he got shot that he should not be charged with anything.

  • Joe Mamma

    It doesn’t add up. Maybe it did happen like this guy said it did? Did the police recover a gun? The guy has a record so he must be lying is that it?

  • Joe Mamma needs to read

    No Joe – they found the gun, his blood and pieces of his clothing in the woods…

  • Cheryl

    Well black men are still being falsely accused of a crime in Duluth. At least this time no one was lynched.

  • Grizzlyman

    He only claimed that one of the alleged assailants as black, so that seems like equal treatment to me.

  • Duh

    And, if the shooter was black … would WCCO tell us? Why does it color matter, so why is this a story? I never believe the ones who have to say they’re not racist to prove it. Another lame story nobody wants to hear about from WCCO.

  • Bob

    Are they going to do anything differently if he was a racist? I don’t see why we need to investigate if he is a racist. He still has mental issues….

  • Marsha D

    Racism in Duluth doesn’t surprise me. After all they lynched those three black men and hung them on that lamppost in the downtown area…and sent the pictures of their bodies to their relatives on postcards.

  • ron m.

    you can really btell how people really see each other when they open their mouth or in this case push the keys .When its all said and done our blood ,dna (human) are the same and noone is better than the other

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