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Officers exonerated in St. Paul skyway Taser incident; lawsuit filed against department

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The three officers involved in a recorded confrontation in a St. Paul skyway were exonerated by an internal review board.

On Thursday, the Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission – made up of five community members and two police officers – said the officers did not act improperly during the incident in which a St. Paul man was Tased and arrested, the Pioneer Press reports.

Earlier in the day, the Star Tribune reported Chris Lollie – the man who was arrested and whose cellphone video of the incident made national headlines – is now suing the city and its police department.

Lollie is looking for at least $500,000 in damages, the paper says, for the Jan. 31 incident in which police Tased and arrested him while he was waiting to pick up his two young children.

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

After the video was published in August, 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.

Lollie, 28, says he was in a public space – a First National Bank lounge – when he was confronted, first by a bank security guard then police, on Jan. 31 of 2013.

Lollie declined to identify himself to the police, and a scuffle ensued. He says that during the incident, an officer put his hands around his throat and tore open his jacket.

Police say Lollie had been uncooperative, loud and declined to identify himself, which ultimately prompted them to use a stun gun in the arrest.

There was also a debate over whether the area where Lollie was waiting is a private business space or a public area. A city attorney has since come out and said it is indeed a public space.

Lollie says race played a factor. He is black, and the officers who arrested him were white.

Lollie was charged with misdemeanor trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. However the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges against him July 31.

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