Mpls. police facing 61 lawsuits alleging brutality, excess force

Published 3:35 pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Police department is currently facing 61 lawsuits alleging that officers used excessive force that led to injuries.

St. Paul police, by contrast, face 19 pending misconduct lawsuits.

Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the number of misconduct suits isn’t extraordinary. She said Minneapolis is the largest city in the state, so the actions of its police force draw extra scrutiny.

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Robert Bennett’s law firm has won millions of dollars in cases against the city. He says there’s a subset of officers who “act with impunity” because they can “get away with it.”

But Teresa Nelson of the American Civil Liberties Union thinks race plays a factor. She said minorities think there’s an ingrained police culture to violate their rights.