Ramsey County will pay $525,000 to settle the case of a man who was punched and kneed by a jailer while in handcuffs.
The April 2016 incident at the jail was videotaped by a jail supervisor and showed other correctional officers watching the beating without intervening.
Ramsey County Board Chairman Jim McDonough announced the settlement with Terrell Isaiah Wilson after a closed-door board session Tuesday morning. Wilson previously had been identified by officials as Terrell Johnson, which may have been an alias.
McDonough said he met last week with attorneys for both sides and a mediator for six hours before reaching the agreement.
"This is a number both sides have agreed to," McDonough said. "It's a video that showed actions of our employees in not a good light and showed the impacts on an individual in our community."
McDonough said Sheriff Bob Fletcher is making changes at the county jail to ensure such an incident doesn't happen again.
Those changes include a new complaint system, de-escalation and cultural competence training and an upgrade in the video equipment used in the booking area.
The corrections officer involved in the case, Travis VanDeWiele, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct earlier this year and resigned from his position.
Wilson's attorney, Michael Padden, said his client now lives in western Wisconsin and plans to move out of the Midwest.
Padden praised the county's use of a mediator to resolve the claim.
"This case represents a good template for how law enforcement and its elected officials should handle a situation like this when mistakes are made and a citizen is injured," Padden said in a written statement.
"Ramsey County and its Sheriff's Office, especially Sheriff Fletcher, should be commended for handling this matter in an honest, professional and fair fashion."
Wilson declined to comment through his attorney.
The Minneapolis City Council last month settled a federal excessive-force lawsuit for $20 million with the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who was shot in 2017 by a police officer after reporting a possible sexual assault. The payout was more than quadruple the previous record for a police-related settlement in Minnesota.
The family of Jamar Clark, an unarmed man fatally shot by Minneapolis police in 2015, is seeking a $20 million settlement. The city hasn't offered a counterproposal, paving the way to a court trial.
At a meeting earlier this year, Ramsey County commissioners said the video and the racial overtones were disturbing. Wilson is black, and VanDeWiele is white.
"I watched the entire video and was absolutely appalled," Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt said at that meeting. "We do take this seriously ... and need to do everything that we can to correct this to make sure something like this does not happen again."
In the April 13, 2016, video, filmed by an "acting or temporary" correctional sergeant on duty, VanDeWiele is one of about five officers seen removing Wilson from a St. Paul police squad car at the jail.
Wilson, who according to the charges against VanDeWiele had been sprayed with a chemical agent, is handcuffed with his pants around his ankles and appears to be unable or unwilling to move.
After he limply falls to the ground and a spit mask is placed on his face, he is lifted into a wheelchair-like "transport chair."
VanDeWiele, his hand apparently squeezing Wilson's jaw in a "pain compliance" move as described in the charges, repeatedly orders him to sit back. When Wilson's hips remain raised, VanDeWiele knees him twice in the stomach, causing Wilson to protest and call the officers a derogatory name.
"That's not very nice, sir," an officer says.
"I'm always nice," Wilson responds, using an expletive as he says they're using excessive force.
"You ain't seen excessive force yet," VanDeWiele responds, before punching Wilson four times in the torso.
VanDeWiele then places his hands on and near Wilson's neck as Wilson cries, "Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me, I'm sorry."
"If you stop fighting, we'll stop using force against you," one of the officers says before pushing Wilson's head down as he sobs and wheezes, apparently struggling to breathe.
After a couple more minutes, Wilson is secured in the chair and wheeled into the jail. Blood and mucus can be seen on the white spit mask.
Fletcher released the video of the incident, which occurred before he took office.
"It really is disgusting that one human being can treat another human being the way that [Wilson] was treated," Fletcher said earlier this spring.