Report: Vikings' Johnson cleared of charges; will file civil lawsuit against police


Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Tom Johnson was found not guilty Friday on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, the Pioneer Press reports.

Johnson is now expected to file a civil lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department, whom he believes used excessive force detaining him outside a Minneapolis nightclub last fall, USA Today's Tom Pelissero reports.

“We believe we have some disingenuous police officers involved in this case,’’ Johnson's agent, David Valentini told the Pioneer Press following the jury's decision, which took about 15 minutes to reach following a four-day trial.

Johnson was arrested Oct. 5, 2014 after allegedly refusing to leave Seven Steakhouse after it closed. Minneapolis police used pepper spray and a Taser to subdue Johnson.

According to TMZ, Johnson used his smart phone to record an officer knocking the phone out of his hands shortly after he was pepper sprayed. Johnson can be heard in the video saying, "do you feel good about it?"

Because he was in a Hennepin County courtroom all week, Johnson wasn't available for the final three practices of Vikings organized team activities. The practices were voluntary so he won't be punished or fined and he's expected to join the team for mandatory minicamp next Tuesday-Thursday.

Although he's been ecleared, Johnson's arrest was the 47th of a Vikings player since 2000 – the most in the NFL at the time, according to ESPN

Johnson was an effective pass rusher last season, finishing with 6.5 sacks as a defensive tackle. He totaled 5 sacks in 40 games during his first three seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints.

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