Terrance Franklin's father to file lawsuit against police Friday


A lawyer for the father of Terrance Franklin, the 22-year-old burglary suspect fatally shot by officers in a Minneapolis basement a year ago plans to file a lawsuit on Friday against those officers, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Star Tribune.

The federal lawsuit, which is being filed against Minneapolis officers Lucas Peterson, Michael Meath, Chief Janeé Harteau and the city of Minneapolis, alleges that the officers wrongfully killed Franklin "in an execution-type fashion due to anger, excessive force and militarization."

Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Franklin's death.

Police have said that Franklin charged at the officers and used one of their guns to shoot and injure two officers in the legs, before he was shot and killed by the officers. The officers were honored for their actions. Last fall, a grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

But Franklin's family has long disputed the police account of what happened in the Uptown basement.

The lawsuit says that a police dog found Franklin, who was scared, in the basement, and when six SWAT team members went to separate the dog from Franklin and apprehend him, an officer's weapon went off "due to a firearm phenomenon known as ‘accidental discharge’ with one round each accidentally striking two separate SWAT team members."

The lawsuit also says that investigators didn't look into a video that a citizen had recorded from outside the home, which captured sound from inside the basement. The lawsuit says the audio from the video, which is just over a minute long, paints a different picture of what happened in the basement. Officers can be heard using racial slurs and Franklin, who had put his arms up, surrendering, the lawsuit says.

At least two minutes had gone by since the officers were shot before they shot and killed Franklin, the lawsuit says. An autopsy showed that Franklin was shot 10 times by officers.

The lawsuit also says that Minneapolis police sought to “dishonestly disparage and demonize” Franklin after the incident and that the police department should have turned to an outside agency to investigate the shooting.

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