Lawsuit claims Minneapolis officer knocked woman unconscious


A Maple Grove woman is suing a Minneapolis police officer who she says knocked her unconscious during an incident last year, in what is the latest "excessive force" case brought before the department.

WCCO reports Madelyn Milton, 23, said she required seven staples in her head last June after being punched by Officer Tyrone Barze Jr., who was responding to a disagreement over a cab fare.

"He turned around and hit her in the face," Milton's attorney Robert Bennett told WCCO. "We have eyewitnesses that say he struck her with a full swing, as hard as any of them had ever seen."

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit filed Wednesday said the punch happened after Milton tried to record Barze Jr. as he arrested several of her friends, and seeks damage for "traumatic brain injury" she suffered in the incident.

Bennett told the court Wednesday that Barze Jr. has been named in at least four other abuse suits. Milton is also suing the City of Minneapolis.

Excessive force is costing the City

It is the latest in a line of excessive force lawsuits filed against Minneapolis police officers and the City.

Just last month, KSTP reports that the city authorized a payment of $66,421 to settle allegations of excessive force used by Officer Richard Walker.

It came after federal jury ruled in February there was enough evidence to show that Walker used excessive force when arresting a man in north Minneapolis in 2012. KSTP notes that the city had paid more than $311,000 to settle cases involving Walker since he joined the force in 2005.

In August 2013, the Claims Journal noted that the Minneapolis Police Department was facing 61 lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force that led to injuries, which was more than triple the number pending against St. Paul police.

Both the police and the City have said they cannot not comment on the latest lawsuit.

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