Civil Rights

Minneapolis to pay Jaleel Stallings $1.5 million

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay $1.5 million plus costs and attorneys’ fees to Jaleel Stallings, an Army veteran who sued the city after being acquitted on the grounds of self-defense after he was charged with shooting at Minneapolis police who first fired marking rounds at him.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are investigating the incident, which took place five days after the police murder of George Floyd.

As the Minneapolis Police Department struggled to regain control of the city, a SWAT team drove around Minneapolis in an unmarked van at night, firing 40-mm marking rounds at civilians out after curfew. They then beat Stallings and his companion after Stallings fired back with a pistol, unaware they were cops. He said he purposefully missed them.

Nearly a year after a jury acquitted the former St. Paul man of eight charges, including attempted murder, Stallings

Police misconduct is getting expensive for taxpayers

More cities and counties are avoiding trials and settling with the families of those who died at the hands of police officers. But have police officers learned anything?

Everyone remembers George Floyd and Minneapolis, which gave a name and face to the Black Lives Matter movement. But ask Kent about Giovonn Joseph-McDade. That city settled with McDade’s family for $4.4 million. Or ask Auburn about the shooting death of Jesse Sarey and a case that has yet to go to trial, even after the officer was charged with murder. Or ask Tacoma and Pierce County about Manny Ellis after the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office settled for $4 million.

The last session of the Legislature questioned many accountability gains from the previous legislative session by police chiefs and unions. But was that a wise move? Last year, cities and counties settled 15 misconduct and wrongful death cases for at least $34.3 million

NJ County Settles Police Brutality Case for $10M

In what’s supposedly New Jersey’s largest-ever settlement for a police excessive force case, Camden County’s insurance carrier has agreed to pay $10 million to a paralyzed city man who gets round-the-clock nursing home care.

The out-of-court settlement for 28-year-old Xavier Ingram – injured in a 2014 encounter with county metro cops – must be approved by U.S. District Chief Judge Juan Sanchez, who presided over Ingram’s month-long civil case that got declared a mistrial in March due to a hung jury.

This deal riled Camden County officials who are “in complete disagreement,” said spokesman Dan Keashen, explaining “the insurance carrier (is) making a business decision and forcing the hand of Camden County.”

“We will be settling the case with Mr. Ingram, (but) we do not believe this is the right decision,” said Keashen. The county “maintain(s) no wrongdoing took place. It is not liable for any of the actions and

Wrongfully convicted Keith Cooper wins record $7.5 million in settlement from Elkhart

Keith Cooper, who spent more than eight years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of an armed robbery in Elkhart, announced Wednesday he will receive $7.5 million in a settlement agreement with the city.

Cooper’s settlement is the largest amount awarded to a plaintiff in a wrongful conviction lawsuit in Indiana, according to the University of Michigan’s Exoneration Registry, and marks the end of his legal saga, which was chronicled by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica.

Cooper, now 46, was pardoned in 2017 by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Cooper’s co-defendant in the 1996 robbery, Christopher Parish, was exonerated and awarded nearly $5 million in a 2014 settlement. Earlier this month, Andrew Royer filed a lawsuit saying police and prosecutors coerced him into a false confession. A handful of other cases against the Elkhart Police Department are pending.

Elkhart County:Man wrongfully convicted of 2002 murder sues police, prosecutor

“It’s been a long uphill battle.

Akron refusing to identify officers who fatally shot suspects

The city of Akron is refusing to promptly identify officers who shoot and kill civilians, even after the officers are back on the job.

The city has previously identified officers under investigation for using deadly force. But officers’ names and records are being withheld for fatal police encounters in December and February.

In the December incident, an officer killed a man holding a knife to his estranged wife’s throat. In February, two officers fired into a Ritchie Avenue home, killing a young man ordered multiple times to drop a handgun.

In March, the Akron Beacon Journal requested the names, disciplinary records and personnel files of the officers involved in both incidents. Three weeks later, the city law department denied the request in a letter citing a handful of exemptions in state laws.

Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett would not comment on the city law department’s decision to withhold the information.

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