At least 11 people are charged with various crimes in protests responding to a metro area Menards employee's death.
Protests erupted in the wake of 19-year-old James Stanback's fatal forklift accident while working on July 22, 2021. Charges state during the protests that spanned about a week, an employee of Menards was allegedly assaulted by two men.
Stanback was a recent graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis prior to his death.
The criminal complaints say police in Golden Valley were called to the store at 6800 Wayzata Boulevard after Stanback was killed when a pallet of lumber fell on the forklift he was operating on the morning of July 22 last year.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office later determined his cause of death to be "mechanical asphyxia due to a forklift mishap."
Charges say a crowd formed inside the store, "screaming and preventing customers from entering the store." Merchandise was also noted to be thrown around by the crowd.
Family members were furious the store was still open after the Stanback was found just after 10 a.m., prompting the crowd of people that included his family to gather at the store and demand it to close.
The crowd refused to leave after being asked by staff to do so multiple times. Members of the crowd were eventually removed — some forcibly — and some were also taken into custody.
Seven people were charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing charges. They are:
- Alana Rose Donovan-Jester, 22, from Annandale
- Derrick Lee Lind, 19, from Minneapolis
- Japrea April Stanback, 24, from Minneapolis
- Jimmyl Darrel Stanback, 30, from Blaine
- Joan Carlos Rosas Dominguez, 27, from Richfield
- Mystaya Joy Stanback, 27, from Brooklyn Center
- Nevaeh Vanessa Hamilton, 21, from North St. Paul
In addition to those charges, Jimmyl Stanback also faces a fourth-degree criminal damage to property. The complaint states that Jimmyl can been seen jumping onto a counter and kicking a computer over.
Disorderly conduct and trespassing charges were filed against Michael Warren Steffer, 35, from Forest Lake, and 37-year-old Nyleve Eiram in connection with another protest on July 23, 2021.
Eiram was charged on Oct. 4, with a criminal complaint alleging she "attempted to shove her way into the store" and was abusive to police officers.
Eiram disagrees with the charges, alleging she was "physically assaulted by a sergeant who never identified herself," and that she was at the scene in the capacity of an independent journalist to film the protest.
"I was never detained, I was never given any type of citations, I was never officially charged with anything till October 4th 2022, I never shoved my way into the store in the July 23, 2022, evening protest. I was physically assaulted by a Sargent who never identified herself. These charges came after I filed an IA investigation last year in July between July 24–28. I am a member of a media as an independent journalist. I was filming the protest to document it as, I’ve done at other protest."
Two others — identified as 21-year-old Jarbbar Jones Jr. and 21-year-old Miles Curtis Jackson, both from Minneapolis —were charged with third-degree riot and fifth-degree assault in another incident that happened on July 28, where 15 people were blocking the fire lane and driveway at the same store.
The complaint states the crowd was "harassing customers" as they made their way into the store. A store employee told police he was assaulted, stating he was punched by a woman and then tackled by the two aforementioned men. The two men then kicked the victim while he was on the ground.
The victim stated in the complaint that he suffered a concussion in the attack.
The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Menards $25,000 in February for violating the rules on secure storage, which the retailer reportedly contested.