Skip to main content

A man beaten by police in a 2011 raid is suing St. Paul and 6 cops

The city says officers did nothing wrong during the 2011 raid.

A man who was beaten by St. Paul police in 2011 is suing the city and six officers, arguing they used excessive force and had no reason to beat him. 

Lawyers for Michael Fleming filed the suit in U.S. District Court this week (read it here). They say years later Fleming is still suffering from his injuries and should be compensated. 

St. Paul's city attorney filed a response denying that the officers did anything wrong. It says any injuries to Fleming were caused by his own actions and it asks the judge to throw out the lawsuit.

What the lawsuit says happened

The suit says Fleming was visiting an apartment on St. Paul's east side when the six officers arrived with a search warrant. 

Fleming was not the subject of the search and his lawyers say he did not resist the officers in any way, verbally or physically. 

The lawsuit says one of the officers, Mike Dunaski, hit Fleming in the face with the butt end of his shotgun. When Fleming fell to the floor, Dunaski and other officers began kicking and stomping on his head, it says, with a cop at one point cursing Fleming for spitting blood on the officer's shoe. 

Fleming, 31, spent three days in a hospital being treated for "massive facial trauma" as well as a brain injury and respiratory failure. He later returned for surgery and a titanium plate was inserted where the bone around his left eye socket had been shattered, the lawsuit says.

One of his lawyers told MPR News Fleming did not sue earlier because he wanted to see how well he would recover from his injuries. The lawsuit says he has continued to suffer headaches, double vision, and numbness in his face.

The suit says Fleming's constitutional rights were violated and it accuses St. Paul of tolerating a pattern of unreasonable force by its police. 

The city's response

In its response, St. Paul denies every allegation in the suit. 

It says all of the actions the police took are authorized by federal and state laws and any injuries to Fleming were caused by his resistance to officers who were carrying out their duties. 

Dave Titus, the president of St. Paul's police union, told the Pioneer Press: "Mr. Fleming's complaint has many inaccuracies and omissions." 

Other excessive force cases

In April St. Paul paid $2 million – its largest-ever settlement – to Frank Baker, a man who had broken ribs and collapsed lungs after being kicked by an officer while a K9 was mauling him. 

Officers had mistaken Baker for a criminal suspect and he was not charged with a crime. 

According to the Pioneer Press, nine lawsuits have been filed against the St. Paul Police Department this year, with three of them dismissed and the other six leading to settlements.

Next Up


Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Erica Shameka Roberts

Police: Minnesota murder suspect arrested in Texas

Erica Roberts has been on the run since March.


Jackknifed semis close I-35 northbound near Faribault

There are icy conditions across Minnesota

court room

Red Lake man gets 12 years for murder of his cousin

Charges state the man beat the victim with a metal cabinet and its drawers.

Snow covering cars in Twin Cities

How much snow fell in Minnesota on Tuesday?

More than eight inches fell in parts of the Twin Cities.


Runways shut down at MSP Airport due to heavy snow

Some spots in the Twin Cities could see up to 8 inches of snow on Tuesday.

Sourced_Q4_229260_A (1)

2PinkSquirrels - making memories with milkshakes

First Time Guests Get BOGO milkshakes starting December 1st and running through December 15th


More details emerging in firing of 5 St. Paul cops

A new report says the assault that led to the firing involved an ex-officer.

The mother of an Illinois man killed by St. Paul police is suing

Authorities have said Cordale Handy had a gun, but the lawsuit argues he wasn't a threat.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

Ex-St. Paul cop gets 6 years in prison for kicking man, allowing K-9 to bite him

The officer kicked a man and allowed a K-9 to bite him during an arrest in 2016.

St. Paul police union says it never meant to 're-victimize' Melvin Carter

But they're offended that Melvin Carter's campaign said the criticism was about race.