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Jury settles Minneapolis officer's snooping lawsuit for $585K

Amy Krekelberg filed the suit after her fellow officers illegally accessed her personal data.

A Minneapolis police officer will receive a $585,000 settlement after she alleged her fellow officers had violated her privacy.

A St. Paul jury reached the verdict Wednesday after officer Amy Krekelberg, of the Minneapolis Police Department, said that other, primarily male officers had illegally sought out her personal information via the private driver’s license database on 74 occasions.

This information included her photograph, age, address, height and weight.

Attorneys for Krekelberg argued these incidents point to a bigger problem of hostility and sexual harassment in the police force, although the suit did not allege violations of the Civil Rights Act.

Krekelberg discovered officers had searched for her data after requesting an audit of searches of her driver’s license data thanks to Minnesota state law in 2013.

According to Human Rights Watch, eight of the 14 cases the organization has examined regarding privacy violations by officers misusing personal data were filed in Minnesota.

Before Wednesday’s ruling, Krekelberg had reached similar settlements with other bodies, including a $29,500 settlement from the City of St. Paul in 2017.

But the Pioneer Press reports the city of Minneapolis is looking to appeal the decision.

“We are exploring options for challenging the verdict,” Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal told the newspaper.

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This case is the last in a series of many similar cases against the City of Minneapolis involving data look-ups from several years ago, with the city saying it has since taken measures to protect personal data.

Earlier this month, the Star Tribune reported that Krekelberg’s case was the last of 34 snooping lawsuits filed against Minneapolis. Of those, 13 suits resulted in settlements totaling $1.2 million.

Among those receiving settlements was “FOX 9 Morning News” co-host Alix Kendall, who in May 2018 received a settlement of $193,000.

Kendall alleged that officers, deputies and other public employees accessed her private information over the course of 10 years.

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