The city of St. Paul has settled with a man who sued police for excessive use of force in an incident that his attorney said left him with lingering health issues.
Michael Fleming reached a $280,000 settlement with the city that still needs to be approved by a vote of the City Council.
“We’re very pleased with the resolution in the case, and Mr. Fleming is eager to get on with his life and put this incident behind him,” said Fleming’s attorney, Paul Applebaum.
Fleming filed a suit in federal court against the city of St. Paul, police Sgt. Mike Dunaski and five unnamed officers who executed a search warrant at an apartment in the 900 block of Edgerton Street on Oct. 13, 2011.
The suit alleged that Dunaski struck him in the head with a shotgun and officers “kicked or stomped” him so badly he suffered a traumatic brain injury and “massive” trauma that necessitated rebuilding one eye socket with titanium.
The suit alleged that Fleming’s Fourth and 14th Amendment rights covering unreasonable search, seizure and excessive force were violated. It alleged that he was also struck with a flashlight and tasered.
Fleming was at the apartment with more than 10 other people who had gathered in the days following a funeral for his godbrother. Fleming did not live there, was not the subject of the search warrant and was never charged with a crime related to the search.
Applebaum said that Fleming’s facial reconstruction surgery was a success, but that extreme temperatures bother him due to the titanium.