Police misconduct has cost Minnesota taxpayers millions of dollars in payouts from lawsuits in cities throughout the state.
Between 2011 and 2014, the city of Minneapolis paid out more than $9.3 million from police misconduct lawsuits, according to an analysis by Minnesota Public Radio
The city agreed to a $3 million payout in 2013 following a lawsuit filed by the family of David Smith. The 28-year-old man, described as mentally ill, died after being restrained by two officers at a YMCA in 2010, according to the Star Tribune
. City officials defended the actions of the officers. Police guidelines require officers to quickly turn a suspect on his side to prevent asphyxiation.
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A federal court jury ordered the city to pay $2.1 million in damages and attorneys’ fees in 2011 after it found two officers liable for the wrongful death of Dominic Felder, 27, who was shot dead by police in 2006. In another case, the city paid $1 million to Rickia Russell, who was severely burned in 2010 from a police flash grenade.
The Star Tribune reported that the city paid nearly $14 million because of police misconduct from 2006 to 2012. The settlements were as high as $4.5 million. Along with excessive force leading to death or injury, cases involved property damage during raids and using racial slurs.
The lawsuits led the city council to allocate some $1.1 million in December 2014 for a body camera program over a two-year period, The Huffington Post reported
In 2012 alone, the city of St. Paul had payouts of about $1 million for police misconduct, according to the Pioneer Press at TwinCities.com
. A woman received a $400,000 settlement after police executing a search warrant injured her with a flash distraction device. The city settled a lawsuit for $249,000 after a man suffered burns on the face from chemical spray and received a skull fracture and gashes on the head.
St. Paul officials also reached a $385,000 settlement from a police misconduct lawsuit by a woman who charged police employees used her private driver’s license for personal information.
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