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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Minneapolis Agrees to $1.5M Settlement with St. Paul Man Shot by Police

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to a $1.5 million settlement with a man from St. Paul who was shot with a marking bullet by Minneapolis police during the turmoil after the death of George Floyd.

After firing at Minneapolis police officers during the tumultuous protests that followed Floyd’s death, Jaleel Stallings was charged with attempted murder, but the 29-year-old was cleared of all counts. During his July trial, he claimed self-defense. He was shot by what turned out to be a 40mm marking round fired by police from an unmarked vehicle.

In the federal case, his attorney, Eric Rice, wrote: “Fearing for his life, Mr. Stallings shot at, but not directly at, the van while he moved into cover.” “Once inside, Mr. Stallings discovered that the vehicle was filled with cops. He dropped his weapon and bowed out. Officers assaulted him for around 30 seconds despite his surrender. Officers in the area stood by and did nothing to halt the beating.”

In a court filing on Tuesday, the settlement was made public.

According to his claim against the city of Minneapolis and police filed in October, Stallings is an Army veteran with a legal authorization to carry a handgun and a Black man who wished to engage in protests over Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis cop.

According to Rice, the shots fired at Stallings were used to halt a suspect and identify him for authorities to apprehend.

Minneapolis will also pay attorney’s fees and expenses in an amount to be decided by the court, according to a court filing on Tuesday.

The case, according to Stallings, is not about money.

“What I was seeking for was accountability and justice,” he added, “and I still don’t feel like I got either.”

He just migrated to Texas, citing fear of reprisal as the reason.

“The city believes that an early resolution to this action will allow all of the parties to move ahead,” Deputy Minneapolis City Attorney Erik Nilsson said in a statement on Tuesday.

The case gained prominence in September when Minnesota Reformer, an online digital news company, reported on his acquittal and studied the case in detail. The Reformer obtained body camera footage of Stallings being punched and kicked as he laid on the ground by Minneapolis SWAT cops.

“Clearly, you see the bruises and you can see I have a damaged eye socket,” Stallings said of a photo of himself from the time of his arrest.

Rice claimed in his complaint that Minneapolis “officers participated in a pattern of violence and malice toward demonstrators and bystanders” on May 30, 2020, after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. One among the victims of that operation was Jaleel Stallings.”

According to court filings, when Stallings realized he had shot at police officers, he dropped his gun and laid face-down on the ground with his hands on the ground. Stallings remained immobile for 20 seconds and posed no visible threat, according to a pretrial ruling from Hennepin County Judge William Koch, until an officer began kicking and hitting him in the head and neck, and a sergeant began kneeing and striking him in the stomach, chest, and back.

Koch concluded that the policemen “let their anger and/or fear to overpower their minds.” “… The video footage contradicts their claim that Mr. Stallings was fighting arrest in any manner; instead, he submitted to their authority.”

Stallings’ complaint alleged that his constitutional rights had been violated.

According to a court filing, the city of Minneapolis disputes “the legitimacy of (Stallings’) allegations and clearly denies any obligation.”

According to a Tuesday notation in the court file, a tentative settlement has been struck in another federal complaint related to the Floyd demonstrations. While reporting the demonstrations, Linda Tirado, a freelance journalist from Tennessee, was blinded by a rubber bullet and filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and Minneapolis cops.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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