One of the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting death of Jamar Clark was sued just 10 days prior to the incident for excessive force in a separate case.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 5 against police officer Dustin Schwarze, maintains he used a Taser to arrest a man in 2011. Back then, Schwarze worked for the Richfield Police Department, Fox 9 reports.
According to the lawsuit Nataniel Hanson was the passenger in a car pulled over on December 11, 2011. The suit alleges Schwarze told Hanson and another passenger in the vehicle “that if they exited the vehicle, he would ‘beat the s—- out of’ them.” However, Hanson claims another officer told him to leave the car, resulting in confusion.
During the confusion, Hanson alleges another officer, Nate Kinsey, punched him in the face before officers pulled Hanson out from the back of the car. Once out of the car, Hanson’s attorneys wrote that he was “prone on the ground and his hands were above his head” while Kinsey punched him nine more times.
Next, according to the complaint, Schwarze “removed the cartridge from his Taser, held the trigger down, and delivered drive stuns” multiple times to Hanson. The suit says the “Taser may be operated in ‘drive stun’ mode and used as a pain compliance tool.”
Hanson was arrested and convicted of a seat belt violation. In addition to the excessive force claims, the suit alleges Hanson was falsely arrested. He is suing Kinsey, Schwarze, the city of Richfield and Aric Gallatin, another officer involved in the arrest.
Tim Phillips, an attorney for Hanson, sent a statement to Fox 9 saying: “We are optimistic that a jury will return a verdict in favor of our client. Yet holding police officers accountable when they unnecessarily kill or injure people is often impossible. This is why many people see the police as a force that terrorizes people with apparent impunity.”
Protestors in Minneapolis are continuing demonstrations to call for the investigation of Clark’s shooting. Schwarze and Mark Ringgenberg, the other officer involved in Clark’s death, remain on paid administrative leave.