MN Historical Society

Duluth Police Chief descendant of woman responsible for lynchings

(Photo courtesy MN Historical Society) For the first time on camera, Mike Tusken gives an account of his family's role in the lynchings.


This was the last story I worked on before my departure as morning anchor at Duluth’s NBC affiliate.

This was the only time Police Chief Mike Tusken went on camera about his family’s role in one of the darkest days in Duluth’s history.

It was his aunt, Irene Tusken, who falsely accused Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie of rape resulting in a mass mob lynching in downtown Duluth.

She was protected throughout her life, her name was never publicly released until after her death.

This horrific family history was written about in 2010, publicly acknowledged by the Police Chief in 2016 but the only time Tusken has ever gone on camera to tell this story was with me. Take a look.


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