MINNEAPOLIS - A local Iraq war veteran is suing the Minneapolis police department. He's claiming an officer maced and arrested him for no reason.
If you are to believe what the police report says... you might believe Ryan Carlson had it coming.
"That's the way it seems in that police report," Carlson said. "But it's not true at all."
It was near closing time on a busy September night outside The Exchange bar in downtown Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Police Oficer Adam Lepinski writes in the report Carlson was arguing with bar staff, and it was getting physical. The officer writes Carlson looked like he was going to fight him, so the officer maced him.
"It's like wow. It's like why is this cop making this up?" Carlson said in reaction to the police report narrative.
Although he admits he was drinking, Carlson claims he was maced out of nowhere...then arrested for no more than asking why.
Carlson, a war veteran with two tours in Iraq, is especially upset with another thing the officer wrote: "It appeared to me that Carlson may be an emotionally disturbed person suffering from military-related PTSD"
"To use that against me, I think that's insane. Why would you use the fact I served in the military to somehow say that I'm crazy. That's actually a horrible stereotype. It really is," Carlson said.
If the incident happened the way the officer wrote it up in the report, then it was potentially seen by surveillance cameras and dozens of witnesses outside including bouncers and other officers. But yet when the case went to court, the prosecution dismissed it, citing "insufficient evidence."
"I go to law school. I was really hoping the justice system would work, and it did," Carlson said.
Now, Carlson is suing the officers and the City of Minneapolis, claiming excessive force, false arrest and first amendment retaliation.
"It's a good case for a lawsuit because an innocent person got hurt and ended up in jail. And that should never happen," said attorney Zorislav Leyderman.
Leyderman said no one should be arrested for asking an officer questions.