Protesters File Lawsuit Against MPD for Excessive Force

Minneapolis, MN – Two protesters {interviewed below} from the recent 18 day #4thPrecinctShutDown are suing officers of the Minneapolis Police Department and the City of Minneapolis for violating their free speech and using excessive force. The protests began on November 15th in the wake of another unarmed victim of police killing, Jamar Clark, who was murdered ‘execution style’ presumably while handcuffed early that morning by Minneapolis police officers. The suit has entered the federal courts.

Camille Williams and her mother Carrie Athanasselis were among a small group gathered in an alleyway beside the 4th precinct station on November 18, 2015. Protesters in the small group were complying with MPD’s orders to allow a police van to re-enter the station through the alley as some of the protesters, most of whom were female, were violently attacked by officers armed with batons. Camille and Carrie werw among theose assaulted; Unicorn Riot was on scene to interview the two immediately after the incident.

“They cornered us and they blocked us so nobody could see what was going on. We weren’t doing nothing, we were just standing there, we were nonviolent.” – Carrie Athanasselis, just after being attacked by MPD officers.

Highlight video of incident in suit – main interview starts around the 2:55 moment:
Carrie and Camille were both struck with batons, as was a minor at the scene. Camille’s cell phone (pictured below) was also shattered by a police baton as she attempted to use it to record the police’s actions. During the interview, they spoke of how they were “non-violent” and the police said “they were just going to let the car through”, and how it was then that the police “rushed” them. The shattered cell phone contained a video that shows the police actions in the alley and is part of the lawsuit against the city and police.

suit

The MPD has denied all allegations of excessive force, despite having been documented physically assaulting dozens of demonstrators with batons, pepper spray, and bikes, and shooting protesters with dozens of marker rounds at head level (video below).

For more of our reports on the protests surrounding the death of Jamar Clark, here are the links:
Police Precinct Occupied after Jamar Clark is ‘Executed’ while Handcuffed
#Justice4Jamar Camp Expands; Minneapolis Residents Block I-94; Unicorn Riot Reporter & 40+ Others Arrested
Minneapolis Police Try to Crush #Justice4Jamar Camp; Community Resists
White Supremacists Shoot Five Protesters and MPD Attacks #Justice4Jamar Crowd
“Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”: White Supremacists Arrested for Shootings
#Justice4Jamar Assailants Net Minor Charges; Camp Braces for Police Action
8 Arrests Made as #4thPrecinctShutDown Eradicated in Early Morning Raid
#BlongNBetsysFortress: Minneapolis Residents Show Up to Defeat $605K Payday for 4th Pct

 

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