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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings’ Tom Johnson files lawsuit against two Minneapolis police officers for 2014 arrest

By Andrew Krammer

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson is seeking $75,000 in damages, according to a lawsuit against two Minneapolis police officers filed in federal court last week.

Johnson, 31, accuses two officers, John LaLuzerne and Patrick McCarver, of violating his civil rights, including “unreasonable seizure, false arrest and use of excessive force.” Last summer, Johnson was acquitted of two misdemeanors stemming from the Oct. 5, 2014 incident. The lawsuit also names the City of Minneapolis as a defendant.

The police report from the incident said Johnson (6-3, 288) was arrested by two off-duty officers for refusing to leave Seven — a downtown restaurant and nightclub. He was then pepper sprayed and forced outside, according to the 2014 report, and continued to be ‘uncooperative’ before he was Tasered and handcuffed. Johnson’s lawsuit tells a different story, one a jury sided with as he was ultimately acquitted.

Days after the incident, Johnson’s representation released a lengthy statement and video in an effort to clear his name. Johnson claimed he was singled out by Seven staff for wearing boots, in violation of the restaurant’s dress code, and was asked to leave as he waited inside for his vehicle. As he was “backing out of the exit,” Johnson claims he was then pepper sprayed by McCarver. When outside, Johnson waited for his vehicle, tipped a Seven patron who offered him water and a towel for his face and snapped a photo of McCarver with his phone at 2:29 a.m. Six minutes later, according to the lawsuit, Johnson began recording the officers with his phone, and can be heard asking them “you feel good about it?”

Johnson claims McCarver exited the building and “swatted” the phone out of his hand, breaking the device. The lawsuit says Johnson picked up the phone and sat down again, before he was Tasered for “14-17 seconds” unprompted, and was then arrested.

In the 32-page lawsuit, Johnson claims he was “injured, jailed, publicly humiliated and ultimately forced to defend himself from criminal charges.” According to the Star Tribune, the two officers have been sued before over allegations of false arrest and unncessary force during a 2006 drug arrest. The city settled the case for $45,000 in 2011.

The post Vikings’ Tom Johnson files lawsuit against two Minneapolis police officers for 2014 arrest appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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