Lawsuit Accusing Minnesota Police Settled for $90K

February 21, 2012

The St. Paul City Council, in Minnesota, has approved a $90,000 settlement for two men who claimed they were wrongly beaten by police last summer.

The Journal of New Ulm reports the lawsuit was filed by Craig Spelbrink and Robert Geistfeld.

The incident began when a witness approached police early July 24, saying a robbery victim was chasing a suspect.

Officers believed they heard scuffling in a nearby parking ramp, and they ordered Spelbrink to the ground as he came down the stairs. They encountered Geistfeld on another floor, and ordered him to the ground.

The lawsuit alleged police used heavy force when the men didn’t comply. Police then realized the witness had actually seen two drunken men “play fighting.”

St. Paul’s city attorney says police must often make split-second decisions.

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