Boys share $160K payout over police incident at Minneapolis park

The boys were subject of a bogus 911 call.
Publish date:
Minnehaha Park incident

Four boys who were handcuffed at gunpoint by police responding to what was ultimately a bogus 911 call at a Minneapolis park will share in a $160,000 payout.

The settlement between the four Somali boys, who were aged 13-16 at the time of the July 2018 incident, and the Minneapolis Parks Police totals $170,000.

The boys will receive $40,000 each and the remaining $10,000 will go to the Council of American-Islamic Relations Minnesota (CAIR-MN).

CAIR-MN Director Jaylani Hussein revealed the settlement at a press conference on Wednesday, which came after the boys' families lodged a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, withdrawn as part of the settlement.

The incident went viral on social media when a female witness documented the police's response. She said she had seen the four boys harassed by an older white teenager before officers arrived.

Police bodycam footage released by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board shows the moment one of the responding officers, Officer Matthew Ryan, gets out of their squad car with his gun drawn, screaming at the boys to get on the ground, while the other handcuffs them.

It later emerged that police had received a 911 call believed to be from the girlfriend of the teen who had been harassing the boys. The caller told police the boys had been threatening them with knives and sticks, and that one had a gun in his backpack.

These claims were unfounded, but ultimately led to the ugly scenes seen at Minnehaha Park.

Hussein thanked the "courageous, determined and important witnesses and bystanders who not only recorded the incident but also came to the aid of the young people, particularly letting the park police know exactly what was happening, to helping de-escalate the situation."

Of the police, he said they are meant to help, but instead "escalated the situation."

The Star Tribune reports that Officer Ryan received a two-day suspension as a result of the incident.

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