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Judge: Chris Lollie's skyway arrest lawsuit will go to trial

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The case of a man arrested by police who used a stun gun on him in a St. Paul skyway in 2014 will be decided by a jury, a judge has ruled.

Chris Lollie sued the City of St. Paul and three officers in connection to the Jan. 31, 2014, incident, saying he was targeted because he's black, alleging excessive force and false arrest, among other claims.

The Pioneer Press is reporting U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, in an opinion issued Feb. 4, said the case should be decided by a jury because "disputed facts remain in the underlying incident."

Nelson did dismiss one claim in Lollie's lawsuit: illegal stop and seizure, the paper notes.

A trial date is set for March 22, The Associated Press says.

The arrest

Lollie said he was sitting in a skyway-level seating area in the First National Bank Building, waiting to pick up his kids from a nearby preschool, when a security guard told him to leave because he was trespassing. Lollie refused, saying he believed the area was a public space, so the guard called police.

Police said Lollie was being uncooperative, which prompted them to use the stun gun.

Much of the incident was caught on video: one angle from Lollie’s cellphone, the other from a surveillance camera. Both videos have been released.

After publishing cellphone video in August 2014, Lollie filed a complaint against the police department. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman then asked the city’s Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission to do a full review, and the officers involved were cleared of any wrongdoing in November 2014.

Charges against Lollie, which included trespassing and disorderly conduct, have been dropped, reports note.

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