MINNEAPOLIS — A man who was acquitted by a jury on charges he fired shots at Minneapolis police officers has filed a lawsuit against those officers and their department, alleging he was beaten and his civil rights violated.
The lawsuit, filed by Jaleel Kevin Stallings, says the defendants (nearly 20 officers both known and unknown) "engaged in a pattern of violence and malice towards protestors and civilians" the night of May 30, 2020, when he encountered them in a parking lot off Lake Street during a night of unrest. Attorneys for Stallings say shots were fired at him by an unmarked van carrying police officers. One of the non-lethal rubber rounds reportedly hit Stallings in the chest, causing him to pull a registered weapon that he was permitted to carry and return fire.
Stallings maintains he discarded the weapon immediately when he found out those in the van were police, and says despite the fact he surrendered he was brutally beaten for approximately 30 seconds. The lawsuit says other officers watched the beating and did nothing to intervene.
A jury acquitted Stallings earlier this summer on charges of attempted murder filed against him in the incident.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that:
- Officers involved provided false accounts of the incident, and omitted facts that supported Stallings' claim of self-defense.
- The officers deliberately concealed their appearance so they could "hunt" civilians by sneaking up and shooting them with rubber bullets.
- Stallings' fourth amendment rights were violated when officers used excessive force.
- Officers violated Stallings’ Equal Protection Clause rights by targeting him and other Black civilians with force and accusing Black civilians of engaging in felonious conduct without evidentiary support.
- Supervising officers not only knew of these violations, the lawsuit maintains they condoned and encouraged them. Recordings show supervisors ordering officers to prioritize and use force against their community.
- Violations like the incident May 30 are part of a pattern of constitutional violations by the MPD.
Stallings is asking for a jury trial, and seeks unspecified compensation for his injuries, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys fees, among other things. The lawsuit also seeks to mandate changes in policies and procedures of the Minneapolis Police Department to prevent further violations of constitutionally protected rights.