United States District Court, D. Minnesota
M. Brown, Counsel for Plaintiff.
Iverson and Nathan C. Midolo, Iverson Reuvers Condon, Counsel
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. DAVIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
1, 2010, Plaintiff David Slaughter went to Lions Park in
Chaska, Minnesota with his three year old grand-nephew.
(Midolo Aff., Ex. 1 (Plaintiff Dep. 39).) A few months
beforehand, Plaintiff had undergone surgery for peripheral
artery disease and he was still in a lot of pain.
(Id. 34.) He took his bike to the park, but because
of the surgery, he could not pedal the bike and instead just
coasted on the bike to the park. (Id. 41.) He also
brought along his dog, unleashed. (Id. 44.)
they were at the park for approximately five minutes, his
nephew, the father of his grand-nephew, arrived at the park
on another of Plaintiff's bikes. (Id. 42.)
Plaintiff claims that his nephew was looking for him because
he wanted money. (Id.) Thereafter, Plaintiff and his
nephew got into a loud argument at the park. (Id.)
Plaintiff asserts that other people in the park told them to
be quiet, to which Plaintiff politely told them to not get
involved. (Id.) His nephew then grabbed the child,
and a group of men in the park approached Plaintiff, and were
yelling at him. (Id.) At that time, Plaintiff claims
he feared for his life and as the group approached him, he
backed up to his bike and grabbed a miniature bat that was
strapped to the bike. (Id. 45.) He believes at this
time he also called 911 because he was concerned about his
nephew taking away his grand-nephew. (Id. 52.)
deposition, Plaintiff testified that when he fell back to his
bike, he debated whether to grab his cane or the bat.
Although the bat was shorter, he believed he could get a
“couple of licks in before it broke . . . but I was
counting on the baseball bat to do damage, because I was
afraid for my life.” (Id. 48.) Deciding that
the “best defense is a good offense” Plaintiff
rushed the group with the bat raised in the air “with
all the energy he had.” (Id. 46.) Plaintiff
admitted that he intended to “clock” one of them,
but at the last second the man picked up a child and used the
child as a shield. (Id.) Thereafter, the group
backed away. (Id. 49.)
of his injuries from surgery, Plaintiff could not go after
his nephew so he decided to leave the park to protect
himself. (Id. 50.) He gathered up his bikes and was
pushing them home when at some point he fell on the ground.
(Id. 56.) Shortly thereafter, he was approached by
Officers Josh Lawrenz and Tony Kjorstad. (Id.)
deposition, Lawrenz testified that he received a call from
dispatch, informing him of an uncooperative caller reporting
a possible kidnaping. (Midolo Aff., Ex. 3 (Lawrenz Dep. 5).
Dispatch received a second call from a different person
reporting an altercation at Lions Park. (Id. 5-6.)
When he arrived at the park, Lawrenz saw some people he knew,
who were flagging him down. (Id. 6.) After speaking
with these people, both Lawrenz and Kjorstad went to speak
with Plaintiff. (Id. 7.)
claims that he approached the officers because of his concern
for the welfare of his grand-nephew. (Id. Ex. 1
(Plaintiff Dep. 60).) The officers, on the other hand, assert
that they approached Plaintiff while he was sitting on the
ground, after he fell off his bike. (Midolo Aff., Ex. 3
(Lawrenz Dep. 7).).
testified that he told Plaintiff that they had received a
complaint that Plaintiff was threatening the group with a
baseball bat. (Id. Ex. 3 (Lawrenz Dep. 8).) Lawrenz
then advised him he would need to have him stand up so he
could conduct a pat down search for weapons. (Id.)
While Plaintiff initially followed the officers'
directions and appeared as if he would comply, when Lawrenz
touched his wrists, Plaintiff resisted and told him to
“get his f'in hands off of me.” (Id.
9; Ex. 4 (Kjorstad Dep. 11).)
testified that he resisted the search because he did not feel
the officers had a reason to search him and because he was
the one who called 911. (Id. Ex. 1 (Plaintiff Dep.
60).) Plaintiff further admitted that the officers may have
said something to him before they tried to search him, but
because the Plaintiff was talking to them, he wasn't
listening to what the officers said. (Id. 64.)
Plaintiff pulled away from Lawrenz, the officers did a
takedown maneuver on Plaintiff. (Id. 65.) Plaintiff
claims he fell down onto a tree stump, and that the officers
proceeded to kick him and step on him. (Id. 69.) He
also claims they smashed his head into the ground and hurt
his arms when they put the cuffs on him. (Id.)
Plaintiff tried to tell the officers he was in a lot of pain,
to stop kicking and hitting him, but they just laughed at
him. (Id.) Plaintiff admits that he resisted the
officers' attempts to place him in handcuffs.
about five minutes, Plaintiff finally allowed the officers to
handcuff him and they picked him up off the ground and threw
him into the squad car and taken to jail. (Id. 74.)
Once there, the handcuffs were removed and he was
“thrown” into a cell and fell on the floor.
(Id. 82.) One of the jailors then bent
Plaintiff's fingers and arms, and put him in a chokehold,
and when he asked why they were doing that, the three or four
jailors in the cell began to laugh at him. (Id.
82-84.) Only when he complained of ...