Minneapolis paid $4.7 million in police-related settlements last year

Categories: Police
Rickia Russell was paid $1 million after a police flashbang seared her legs.
The city of Minneapolis paid $4.7 million in 2011 for settlements and liability claims involving the police department, making it the biggest year for police-related payouts since 2007, according to data maintained by the city.

The $4.7 million comes from 32 different cases. Four of these stem from incidents dating all the way back to 2003 and 2004, but the rest took place during Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan's tenure.

A payment of $1 million went to Rickia Russell. In February 2010, police officers threw a flashbang grenade into Russell's boyfriend's house, and the explosion seared her legs with third-degree burns.
Dominic Felder was shot and killed by police in 2006.
The highest payout of more than $2.1 million was awarded to Katie Felder, mother of Dominic Felder, who was shot and killed by police in 2006. In court, the officers testified they believed Dominic was reaching for a gun, but a jury ultimately ruled the force was unjustified.

"Minneapolis Police have more than a million contacts with people every year, and our officers are constantly in harm's way," City Attorney Susan Segal said in a statement to City Pages. "Even though it is a dangerous job, our office is continually working with MPD in reducing risk and improving its responses, both for the safety of the officers and the public."

In 2007, the city paid $5.9 million in lawsuits against the department. In 2008, the amount of total payouts went down significantly to $356,961, according to city data. That jumped to $2.5 million in 2009. The next year, payouts dropped again to about $1 million.
Click to the next page for a full list of 2011 payouts and recipients.

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