Skip to main content
Publish date:

Lawsuit claiming Minneapolis police targeted photojournalist during riots allowed to proceed

A federal judge on Monday denied motions filed by the City of Minneapolis and MPD to dismiss the case

A federal judge has allowed the lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Police Department by photojournalist Linda Tirado to proceed. 

U.S. District Chief Judge John Tunheim denied motions for dismissal filed by the city and former police union leader Bob Kroll on Monday, calling Tirado's account of officers firing a foam bullet at her, blinding her in one eye, "serious and troubling." 

Tirado, who is based in Tennessee, is one of several journalists with accounts of being injured by "less lethal bullets" fired by police while covering the civil unrest that followed George Floyd's death.

Her lawsuit alleges that police purposely fired the foam bullets at her, despite being clearly identified as a journalist, and that city officials failed to intervene when told about similar incidents in the days before Tirado's injury. It also alleges that Kroll promoted the use of force.

"That numerous other journalists experienced similar, seemingly unjustified incidents involving less-lethal munitions and other measures is even more troubling, as the allegations plausibly suggest an unconstitutional custom carried out by MPD officers of targeting journalists for unlawful reprisals," Tunheim wrote in his decision.

The city "cannot escape municipal liability if a plaintiff can plausibly allege that it was deliberately indifferent to widespread, consistent, unlawful use of force against the press," he wrote. 

Motions to dismiss a class action lawsuit by Minnesota freelance journalist Jared Goyette are currently pending. Goyette, who was also hit in the eye but fully recovered, filed the lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, alleging at least 10 instances of police or Minnesota State Patrol officers targeting journalists. 

Two protesters who also lost their vision to foam or rubber bullets have also filed lawsuits.

When Tirado had first filed her suit, Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder told the Star Tribune in June that "it very well could have been us" who fired the foam bullet.  

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers out 6-8 weeks with injury

The Hopkins native was hurt during Sunday's matchup with Notre Dame.

Anthony Barr

Vikings' defense could get reinforcements against Steelers

Several starters could return for a critical Thursday night matchup.

Mercer ATV accident fundraiser

High schooler in coma, fighting for his life after ATV crash

Family members found the teen on the ground and unresponsive.

Nolan Sprengeler - muskie record - nov 2021

Angler officially breaks 64-year-old state muskie record

The muskellunge he caught on Nov. 22 weighed a whopping 55 pounds, 14 ounces.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Related

George Floyd

ACLU protester lawsuit against Minneapolis, MPD will move forward

A federal judge denied motions to dismiss the suit.

town talk diner

Restaurant sues Minneapolis, claims it allowed destruction after Floyd's death

This lawsuit is the first one against Mayor Frey and the City of Minneapolis for property damage related to the civil unrest last summer.

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

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

united-states-capitol-1675540_1920

Here's what's in the police reform bill proposed by Democrats in Congress

Democratic leaders announced Monday a bill that includes banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

George Floyd's family files civil lawsuit against Minneapolis, 4 police officers

Attorney Ben Crump said, "It was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department on the neck of George Floyd that killed him."

Image from iOS (48)

Journalist blinded in one eye while covering MN protests sues police

The Tennessee-based journalist was in Minneapolis covering the protests.