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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A man found not guilty of attempted murder after firing at Minneapolis police during the unrest that followed George Floyd's death has sued the city and numerous officers, alleging excessive force was used in his arrest.
Jaleel Stallings, 29, also alleges in the federal lawsuit filed Thursday that several of his constitutional rights were violated following the shooting.
During his trial in July, Stallings testified he thought he was being attacked by civilians after he was struck in the chest with what turned out to be a nonlethal rubber bullet fired by police. Stallings said he shot at an unmarked white van in self-defense after he was hit on May 30, 2020.
He surrendered when he realized he had fired at police. No officers were hit.
Stallings' attorney, Eric Rice, released body camera footage earlier this month that showed Stallings being assaulted by police following his arrest. A booking photo of Stallings taken after his arrest shows visible facial injuries.
The lawsuit says the beating left Stallings with several injuries, including a fractured eye socket. It alleges that 19 Minneapolis officers violated Stallings’ constitutional rights by using excessive force and using force to intimidate and deter him from protesting police brutality and racism, the Star Tribune reported.
“These violations are part of a pattern of constitutional violations by the MPD,” the complaint said. “Customs causing constitutional violations were long-known by the MPD and the community at-large before this incident. In fact, it was this historical pattern of constitutional violations and lack of accountability or deterrence that led the community to protest with such intensity after the murder of George Floyd.”
The police department declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.
The complaint names 14 officers as defendants. An additional five are also listed but referred to as John Does because they have yet to be identified, according to the complaint.
Following the shooting, Stallings was charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and second-degree riot, among other counts. He rejected a plea deal that included a nearly 13-year prison term and instead took the case to trial, which resulted in a full acquittal.
The lawsuit comes just days before Minneapolis voters will be asked to weigh in on a ballot question that would eliminate the police department and replace it with a new Department of Public Safety that would use a more comprehensive public health approach. The ballot question follows calls from activists and others to “defund the police” in the wake of Floyd’s death at the hands of police last year.