MINNEAPOLIS — The family of a Somali-American man police shot to death during a standoff in Eagan last summer has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the shooting wasn't justified and the man was targeted because of his race.
Isak Aden was 23 when he died on July 2, 2019, during a standoff with police from multiple agencies in Eagan.
According to the Dakota County Attorney's Office, Aden had a gun and officers tried to negotiate with him for hours. Finally police threw flash-bang devices at him and fired nonlethal rounds at him. Aden went for his gun, picked it up in his right hand and fired. Officers opened fire, hitting him five times.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom cleared the five officers who fired of any criminal wrongdoing in November, saying they believed they were in danger.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Aden's family filed the lawsuit Thursday. The lawsuit names the cities of Bloomington, Burnsville, Eagan and Edina, which supplied police for the operation, multiple officers and Eagan Chief Roger New as defendants and seeks more than $20 million.
The family's attorney, Matthew Lawlyes, told the newspaper that police video shows Aden picked up his gun after nonlethal rounds were fired, but put it on the ground and raised his left hand in an act of surrender. He fired the gun accidentally after officers shot him, Lawlyes said.