$8.875M settlement reached between plaintiffs, City of Minneapolis in case involving former officer Derek Chauvin
(KSTP) – According to our sister station, KSTP, two people who sued former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, seven other officers and the City of Minneapolis over excessive force, racial discrimination and misconduct will receive millions of dollars as part of a settlement agreed upon by the city Thursday morning.
During a closed session of a meeting Thursday, city councilors agreed to settle with John Pope and Zoya Code for a combined price of $8.875 million. Pope will receive $7.5 million, with Code set to end up with $1.375 million.
Although one councilor was absent, the vote was unanimous.
A spokesperson says the City of Minneapolis hasn’t released the body camera footage for both incidents as of this time, saying it is private data under a state law. However, both Pope and Code may release the video as soon as Thursday due to them being subjects of the footage.
The spokesperson went on to say the footage “may be difficult for many to watch” and it is likely to “be triggering or traumatizing to community members. As the plaintiffs allege, Chauvin used excessive force against them.”
Lawyers for Pope and Code said the lawsuits stem from incidents that go back to 2017.
Pope was 14 years old in 2017, and officers were called to his home for a reported domestic disturbance. The attorneys say Chauvin was one of the officers who responded, and he entered Pope’s bedroom, where Pope was on his cellphone and lying face down on the floor.
Attorneys say “Chauvin rushed Pope and struck him multiple times on the head with a large flashlight” and “pinned Pope to the floor with his knee, the same tactic he used on George Floyd, and held him in the prone position for 15 minutes, while Pope was handcuffed behind his back,” adding there were eight other officers – some who are no longer employed with the department – at the scene and who didn’t intervene.
The complaint alleged Chauvin hit Pope in the head multiple times with a metal flashlight, and eventually, put Pope on the floor in the prone position with a knee on Pope’s upper back and neck. During this time, the complaint identified Alexander Walls as the only officer with Chauvin. Documents go on to say five other officers responded to the home after either Chauvin or Walls radioed the situation was under control, and none of the officers intervened.
A complaint filed in federal court states Code demanded money for the damage she suffered during the use of excessive force by Chauvin on June 25, 2017.
The complaint states she reported pain and myalgia due to the arrest and was later diagnosed with “major depressive disorder, single episode, moderate” and “unspecified trauma-and stressor-related disorder.” The complaint also notes she previously suffered from PTSD and is continuing to attend counseling and therapy.
Attorneys alleged Chauvin also used excessive force on Code while she was handcuffed and not resisting arrest, saying he slammed her head on the ground and put his knee on the back of her neck. He also allegedly moved her handcuffed arms behind her head while she was face down, the complaint states.