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St. Paul settles lawsuit over snowball incident for $20,000

  • December 5, 2012 - 8:45 PM

The St. Paul City Council has settled for $20,000 a federal lawsuit claiming that police used excessive force in 2007 on three minors throwing snowballs on the East Side.

The city denied the charges of excessive force, and the settlement terms stated that the payment should not be seen as "an admission of liability."

City Attorney Sara Grewing said that city officials decided to settle to manage the city's risk. The City Council approved the settlement last week.

Patrick Hedican IV, who was then 17, charged that police ordered him to the ground, jumped on his back, kicked him and hit him in the mouth with a flashlight. The complaint said that he wound up with a collapsed lung, facial cuts and neck and back injuries.

Hedican and two other minors who had been throwing snowballs were cited for violating curfew.

Last month, the City Council settled a police brutality case for $400,000, an amount that tied the largest such settlement ever paid by St. Paul. In that case, a mother and her adult son charged police with beating them and using a "flash-bang" grenade, setting the mother on fire, while searching their Midway apartment for cocaine in 2010. No cocaine was found.

KEVIN DUCHSCHERE

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