Somali American Teens Held At Gunpoint By Cops Reach $170,000 Settlement


The households of 4 Somali American teenagers have reached a settlement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board over an encounter with park police that the boys mentioned left them terrified they have been going to die.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a discrimination grievance filed with the state Division of Human Rights over a July 2018 incident by which officers held the boys at gunpoint however didn’t arrest them, in line with the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The households went via rather a lot and the younger individuals additionally went via rather a lot from this incident,” CAIR-MN government director Jaylani Hussein mentioned at a press convention Wednesday. “We’re completely happy at present to report that this incident is behind them, however they’re nonetheless traumatized from what befell.” 

The courtroom settlement was reportedly finalized in November and paid out quickly after, in line with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Every of the boys reportedly obtained $40,000, whereas $10,000 went to CAIR for lawyer providers.

On July 10, 2018, Minneapolis Park Cops Matthew Ryan and Eric Olson responded to a 911 name by which the caller claimed that 4 boys have been holding knives and sticks in Minnehaha Park and that one had a gun in his backpack. The caller additionally claimed the kids have been assaulting her boyfriend.

When the officers arrived on the scene, Ryan drew his gun and yelled on the 4 teenagers to get on the bottom, whereas Olson handcuffed and searched them, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The cops didn’t discover weapons on the boys. Bystanders advised the officers that the 4 have been harmless and had truly been threatened by another person on the park. They have been positioned in a squad automobile and later launched with out being charged.

The kids have been between 13 and 16 years outdated on the time.

A viral video of the incident was captured by a bystander and posted to social media, leading to a public outcry.

Throughout a press convention later that month, one of many youngsters mentioned the incident began when a “white child got here as much as us saying racial slurs in the direction of us.” 

One other member of the group, Suhaib Ahmed, described being “slammed” to the bottom by one of many cops.

“I used to be scared he was going to shoot me,” Ahmed mentioned.

“I believed that might be my final day of this world,” one other teen, Abdijabar Ahmed, mentioned on the press convention. 

Fb / CAIR

Halimo Sisse, mom of one of many victims, speaks at a press convention Wednesday throughout which the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations introduced the settlement.

The board launched footage from Olson and Ryan’s physique cameras on Wednesday. The video exhibits Ryan repeatedly shouting on the teenagers to settle down, whilst they tried to elucidate that another person had pulled a knife out at them and was getting away. 

On Wednesday, Hussein lauded the “brave, decided, and necessary” work of the witnesses and bystanders who recorded the incident and stayed on the scene to talk out in help of the boys.

The Minneapolis Park Board launched an inner evaluate of the incident in 2018 and held two listening periods with residents. Park police later concluded that Ryan was proper to attract the gun, however his choice to scream on the boys was improper, the Star Tribune stories.

The Park Board advised the Tribune that Ryan has obtained “extra coaching.” The board mentioned that the settlement shouldn’t be taken as an indication that it’s “admitting to any discrimination or use of extreme pressure.”

“We’re dedicated to offering protected and welcoming parks for everybody,” board superintendent Al Bangoura mentioned in an announcement to NBC affiliate KARE-11. “We took the 2018 incident at Minnehaha Falls critically and performed an unbiased employment investigation of our officers’ conduct. With final 12 months’s settlement, the juveniles, their households and the MPRB can transfer ahead.” 

Halimo Sisse, the mom of one of many victims, mentioned at Wednesday’s press convention that it’s going to take a very long time for her household to heal from the incident. 

“We nonetheless take care of the worry and trauma of this incident, however a part of that therapeutic course of is realizing that we’re getting justice,” she mentioned via a translator. “Transferring ahead, we wish to make it possible for this doesn’t occur to anybody else.”



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