Skip to main content

MPD officers accused of racial slurs also named in excessive force suits

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Two Minneapolis police officers who were placed on leave last week stemming from an incident in a Green Bay bar have also each been named in recent excessive force lawsuits.

The Star Tribune reports Officer Brian Thole was among several sued in October for injuring two men during a raid in north Minneapolis. The suit said the officers kicked and punched one man in handcuffs and injured the other, who was sleeping on a couch, reports the paper.

Officer Shawn Powell and five other officers were sued in February 2012 for the death of Ahmed Guled, who was shot during a traffic stop in north Minneapolis in 2009, reports the Strib's David Chanen, who also reported the names of the officers over the weekend.

KSTP-TV has posted a federal suit naming Thole, as well as the city of Minneapolis response.

On Friday, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau issued a brief statement saying that two Minneapolis Police Department officers had been put on leave while an investigation. As BMTN reported, despite state laws to the contrary, Harteau did not release the names or discuss the nature of the matter.

Thole and Powell – who are both white – were off-duty at a bar in Green Bay on June 29 where they argued with two black men and were accused of using racial slurs.

When Green Bay police arrived and later questioned the officers, as WCCO-TV and other outlets reported, they continued to use racial slurs, and made remarks about Harteau, who is gay, and other sexually derogatory remarks, according to the Green Bay police. The on-duty officers thought enough of the incident to report it back to the MPD.

Powell is a former Green Bay police officer, according to WCCO.

KARE 11 says both men are Iraq War veterans, and has even done a number of stories that featured Thole, including one of him returning home from Kuwait to surprise his mother.

The station reports Powell was also among officers commended for the shooting death of an erratic driver on Golden Valley Road in 2009.

Next Up

basketball unsplash stock

North St. Paul basketball cancels Eden Prairie game after opposing coach's reinstatement

Head Coach Cornelius Gilleylen said he let his players decide amongst themselves.

Pixabay - school - classroom

These are the nominees for 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Education Minnesota has nominated 131 teachers from across the state.


Cities prepare for release of footage showing Tyre Nichols' fatal arrest by Memphis PD

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara issued a statement on the incident Thursday.

DeShaun Hill

Cody Fohrenkam found guilty of Deshaun Hill Jr.'s murder

The 15-year-old was fatally shot on Feb. 9, 2022.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 12.15.23 PM

Gov. Tim Walz proposes $3.3B for aging infrastructure

Walz's borrowing plan comes days after the release of his two-year state budget proposal.

Screen Shot 2023-01-26 at 8.43.35 AM

Children's Theatre Company actors lose belongings in damaging house fire

The fire broke out Tuesday morning shortly after the dryer had been started.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Biden Admin. imposes 20-year mining ban near Boundary Waters

The moratorium is the maximum the Department of the Interior can implement without congressional approval.