Former Gopher basketball star sues over arrest

Published 9:42am Friday, March 7, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A former University of Minnesota basketball star is suing police over his arrest in Robbinsdale.

Melvin Newbern said an officer knocked him to the ground while he was in handcuffs, causing a concussion. The officer had stopped Newbern in February 2013 for allegedly swerving and suspicion of drunken driving. The lawsuit reportedly said the officer kneed Newbern in the back of the leg causing him to collapse and hit his head on the road.

Robbinsdale Police Chief Steve Smith declined to comment, saying his department hasn’t yet been served with the lawsuit. Newbern was charged with obstruction, but not with drunken driving. The 46-year-old Newbern is a Hennepin County juvenile detention officer. He was a star point guard for the Gophers, when the team got within one game of making the Final Four in 1990.