Looking back at the Theodore Kowalzek standoff

March 25, 2011

Posted by Matt Ehling

For nearly a year, PRM has been working on an article about the 2009 standoff between Ham Lake, Minnesota resident Theodore Kowalzek and Anoka County Sheriff’s deputies. The final article is here. It presents a detailed look at this particular event, but it also serves as an examination of the complexities of SWAT call-outs more generally.

In preparation for this article, we spent time talking to family members, neighbors, the Minnesota BCA, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, and others. We contacted the Anoka County Sheriff’s office twice, but were not able to get input for this story.

We submitted three data practices act requests. The photo and video collections that we received were redacted to remove photographs of the deceased Ted Kowalzek. We continued to pursue the redacted photos, and finally received them earlier this month. The photos were sought to corroborate details contained in the medical examiner’s report, and in police after-action reports.

For privacy reasons, we have not included the BCA’s redacted photos in our on-line collection of photographs related to the standoff.