Reporter | Breaking news, crime and corrections

Liz Sawyer covers breaking news, crime and corrections for the Star Tribune. She previously wrote about suburban life in the south metro.

Sawyer graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in newspaper and online journalism. She worships her alma mater's college hoops team and believes that an orange is, in fact, a suitable mascot.


$10 device could save Black motorists' lives, says Philando Castile's mom

A carrying pouch inspired by Philando Castile is designed to protect Black drivers.


Death of man found in torched Mpls. pawnshop ruled a homicide

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has publicly identified the man whose remains were found in the wreckage of a south Minneapolis pawnshop torched during riots…


Minn., U.S. departments struggle to attract and retain officers of color

Of about 11,000 law enforcement officers in Minnesota, just 2% — 270 officers — are African American, according to one official's estimate.


Pandemic leaves many prisoners warehoused in county jails

More than 100 Minnesota inmates have been warehoused in county jails this year to ease crowding, where they have limited access to rehabilitation services — and the COVID-19 pandemic means that's likely to continue.


Suspect in gunfire exchange with St. Paul officer is shot by police and killed in St. Cloud

Several officers fired after police say suspect got out of vehicle with a firearm.


Minneapolis police overtime in 2 weeks after Floyd death: $3.3M

Costs associated with the summer unrest doubled the Minneapolis Police Department's allotted overtime budget for 2020.


Chief: Budget cuts mean St. Paul police force will be smaller, less diverse

Chief Todd Axtell said 2021 budget cuts will mean canceling the police academy.


Police ethics training takes on added resonance after death of George Floyd

In St. Paul, more than 600 officers will complete training this fall about doing what's right even if — and especially when — it's difficult.


St. Paul police chief reveals he has recovered from COVID-19

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell revealed Monday that he has recovered from COVID-19 after two weeks of self-isolation. Axtell tested positive for the virus…


Caribou Coffee in St. Paul, Jimmy John's in Bloomington robbed at gunpoint Wednesday

No word as to whether the two robberies are related.