A $2 million settlement has been reached between the city of St. Paul and Frank Baker, who was kicked by police officers and bitten by a police dog last summer, according to his attorney.
It's the biggest payout for police misconduct in St. Paul history, city officials said.
Baker's attorney, Andrew Noel of Gaskins Bennett Birrell Schupp LLP, said Monday his team has a verbal agreement with the city for the multimillion dollar settlement involving the June 24 incident. The agreement has yet to be signed, he added.
Baker is "pleased the case is resolved," Noel said Monday. "He just wants to move on with his life."
St. Paul City Attorney Samuel Clark said the tentative agreement could be finalized in April if the City Council votes to approve it.
"The city has sought to do the right thing here from the beginning. That includes acknowledging that what happened to Mr. Baker should never have happened, and apologizing for it," Clark said. "And taking steps to try to make sure that nothing like that happens to anyone ever again in the city."
Baker spent two weeks in the hospital. He underwent skin grafts and suffered broken ribs and collapsed lungs from being kicked, his attorneys said.
Meanwhile, the police chief apologized and several officers were disciplined. Brett Palkowitsch, the officer who kicked Baker three times in the midsection while a police dog attacked him, no longer works for the department.
In November, Chief Todd Axtell released a graphic dashcam video following a use-of-force review and internal affairs investigation. It shows Baker writhing and screaming on the ground as a police dog named Falco bites his right leg.
The video shows six officers standing around Baker, whom they believed matched the description of an armed suspect. Palkowitsch is shown kicking Baker while officers issue orders and curse at him.
"Get him, buddy," an officer says to Falco at one point. "Get him, buddy. Good."
Baker's lawyer praised the city's action in the case. "It's been clear to us that there already is training that's happening or there will be training to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Noel said.
"St. Paul stepped up and took responsibility and treated Frank fairly after the incident occurred, and he feels that way, as well. It was a bad incident but they did what needed to be done to get Frank some justice for what happened to him."