Minneapolis officials are poised to approve payments totaling nearly $105,000 to settle lawsuits stemming from two separate incidents in which city police officers were alleged to have used excessive force.
The Ways & Means Committee on Monday unanimously approved payments of $86,500 to Jon Gauthier and $18,300 to David Zehringer. The settlements must get City Council approval later this month.
Gauthier's attorney Mark Kallenbach, of Minneapolis, called the settlement "fair and sensible" last week, but declined to comment further on the case until it had been approved by the City Council.
Officials with the police department and the police union, which represents rank-and-file officers, declined to comment.
According to Gauthier's lawsuit, he suffered a broken pelvis, bruised ribs and other injuries on Aug. 27, 2014, after an officer grabbed him and slammed him onto the concrete sidewalk outside his home.
Officers James Boyd and Jordan Davis were there checking out a disturbance after a former roommate of Gauthier's broke in and threatened him with physical harm, but the lawsuit alleges that Gauthier, who was intoxicated, was treated as the aggressor throughout the incident. The lawsuit said that officers ignored his pleas to be let inside to use the bathroom, causing him to defecate on himself.
In Zehringer's case, he filed a lawsuit accusing four officers — Sean McTaggert, Robert Thunder, Joshua Federly and Michael Gustafson — of using excessive force, punching and kicking him during an investigation of a domestic disturbance involving his neighbors in November of 2013.
The city denied wrongdoing in both cases.