Minneapolis Pays $1.5 Million Settlement To Man Who Accidentally Shot At Cops During George Floyd Protests

from the you're-supposed-to-be-a-public-servant dept

Following the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the streets of the city erupted in protest. Police responded accordingly. Which is to say indifferently. Rather than rein in the violence that had triggered the protests, many officers felt they needed to make protesters pay for their ungrateful response to racial bias and police violence.

One Minneapolis resident, Jaleel Stallings, found himself caught in the literal crossfire. A Minneapolis PD riot response team patrolled city streets in an unmarked van, hoping to catch rioters in the act or, at the very least, ring up a bunch of people on curfew violations. Stalling’s lawyer — representing him in his criminal case — was able to obtain body cam footage from officers manning the unmarked van that rolled up on his client.

The recordings show cops behaving at their worst, intent on punishing the public for daring to consider its policing efforts inadequate. Officers operating from the unmarked vehicle were firing indiscriminately at anyone caught out in the open, egged on by fellow officers and their direct supervisors.

Before the white, unmarked cargo van of the Minneapolis Police Department drove down Lake Street, an officer gave Sgt. Andrew Bittell his orders: “Drive down Lake Street. You see a group, call it out. OK great! F*** ’em up, gas ’em, f*** ’em up.”

Bittell turned to his SWAT unit in the van and said, “Alright, we’re rolling down Lake Street. The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ’em with 40s,” according to body camera footage described in court documents. He was referring to “less lethal” plastic projectiles sometimes called rubber bullets or 40mm launchers or rounds.

This indiscriminate act ended up costing Stallings his freedom. They opened fire on a nearby parking lot, hitting Stallings in the chest. Stallings, understandably (and accurately), believed he was under attack. The lawful gun owner returned fire with his pistol.

Shortly thereafter, Stallings realized he had been shooting at MPD officers. He then did what any responsible citizen would do: he tossed his gun out of his reach and dropped facedown on the ground to await the arrival of officers. In response for his efforts to atone for his mistake (a completely justifiable mistake, at that), Stallings was attacked by MPD officers who kicked and punched him for more than 30 seconds before arresting him on a long list of charges that included second-degree attempted murder. Stallings fought these charges while recovering from multiple injuries, including a fractured eye socket.

The officers lied about Stallings’ actions, claiming he “ran away” and raised a struggle while being handcuffed. The officers never stated — in their reports or statements to investigators — that they had beaten Stallings, even after he had been handcuffed. More contradictions would have followed but the officers were ordered to turn off their cameras nine minutes after the recordings began.

Stallings was acquitted of all charges following a jury trial. He then sued the officers for rights violations. Nearly two years after he was brutalized by thugs looking to inflict violence on people protesting police thuggery, Stallings is getting a payout from the city of Minneapolis.

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay $1.5 million plus costs and attorneys’ fees to Jaleel Stallings, an Army veteran who sued the city after being acquitted on the grounds of self-defense after he was charged with shooting at Minneapolis police who first fired marking rounds at him.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are investigating the incident, which took place five days after the police murder of George Floyd. 

The city is spending citizens’ money to make Stallings whole, but it’s unwilling to do without letting itself off the hook for causing the problem and buying its way out of it. Like far too many lawsuit settlements, this one allows the city and the PD to walk away from this without admitting they’ve done anything wrong.

The city will not admit guilt or take responsibility as part of the agreement with Stallings, which still has to be approved by the Minneapolis City Council.

What should be viewed as direct condemnation of the MPD’s actions that night will now be little more than a budget line item. It will be swept away by the passage of time like so many lawsuit settlements before it, allowing the MPD to pretend it’s not the home to several problematic officers, and the city to pretend it hasn’t utterly failed to engage in meaningful oversight of law enforcement agencies that are supposed to answer to it and are obligated to act as public servants.

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Comments on “Minneapolis Pays $1.5 Million Settlement To Man Who Accidentally Shot At Cops During George Floyd Protests”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“The city will not admit guilt or take responsibility as part of the agreement with Stallings, which still has to be approved by the Minneapolis City Council.”

rubs between his eyes
Has anyone there considered the idea that not admitting guilt & refusing to take responsibility is exactly what cause this to occur in the first fucking place?

They were ordered to turn off their cameras, well then nothing they have to say after that point should be accepted as factual, especially in light of them lying about the incident from the beginning & the video contradicting everything they claimed to somehow justify beating & brutalizing a citizen who was merely defending himself from unknown assailants who were driving around looking for citizens to take pot shots at.

But then this is a country that can’t even manage to give a shit about murdered children while trying to criminalize women who don’t want to be parents.

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Anonymous Coward says:


I suppose it never occurred to you, TAC, that many pro-life supporters don’t support criminalization of women who get abortions. You just assume so in your attempt to condemn the entire movement.

“As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life and we stand firmly opposed to such efforts,” explained the joint letter.

“There are two victims in every abortion: the unborn child who loses her life, and her mother who is left abandoned by the abortion industry to deal with any physical complications, as well as the emotional and psychological pain of the abortion trauma for months or even years to come,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This joint letter recognizes that women who have abortions require our compassion and support, not criminalization.”


Here’s something you might not be aware of, either. Doctors and nurses are leaving the abortion industry in droves and have been for some time. For good reason:

“I know a former prochoice nurse who was converted to a prolife position after seeing premature babies being frantically saved by a medical team in one room, while down the hall, babies the same age were being aborted.”


“By now, many people in the pro-life movement have heard the story of Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching the abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby on the ultrasound. A lesser-known story is that of Joan Appleton, who had a similar experience. When talking during a conference in Chicago, Illinois sponsored by the Pro-Life Action League about the reason she left her abortion clinic, she said:

And I too had seen an ultrasound abortion. It was, we did first trimester, this was late first trimester, probably early second trimester, really we could look to 13.7 weeks. Give or take. I can’t remember offhand what the specific problem was, but we wanted to do the abortion by ultrasound, to make sure that we did indeed get the entire, all the baby. The terminology was that we wanted to make sure we had the entire pregnancy. I handled the ultrasound while the doctor performed the procedure, and I directed him while I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. I had seen Silent Scream a number of times, but it didn’t affect me – to me it was just more pro-life propaganda. But I couldn’t deny what I saw on the screen. After that procedure, I was shaking, literally, but managed to pull it together, and continue on with the day.

Unlike Abby Johnson, Appleton did not leave her job immediately – but this incident was pivotal in convincing her that abortion was wrong.

Dr. Stuart Campbell performed abortions for years, but the new, vivid, 3-D ultrasound images changed his mind:

Even a fetus lying there dead doesn’t convey the horror that one experiences seeing a baby moving its arms and legs, opening its mouth, sucking its thumb, and then thinking, gosh, somebody wants to, you know… It looks so vital. It has changed my view. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

Dr. Campbell no longer performs abortions.

Dr. Randall, quoted before, testified to the following:

I think the greatest thing that got to us was the ultrasound. At that time, the ultrasound, or soundwave picture which was moving, called a “real-time ultrasound,” showed the baby on TV. The baby really came alive on TV and was moving. And that picture, that picture of the baby on ultrasound bothered me more than anything else. … We lost two nurses. They couldn’t take looking.

He said this at the “Meet the Abortion Providers” conference sponsored by the Pro-Life Action League.

The phenomenon of abortion clinic workers leaving after seeing ultrasounds has been so prevalent over the past several decades that major medical publications have addressed the problem.”

“So why do abortion providers avoid showing ultrasound images to women? Perhaps this is because up to 78% of women to see an ultrasound of their babies choose not to have abortions.”


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I suppose it never occurred to you, TAC, that many pro-life supporters don’t support criminalization of women who get abortions. You just assume so in your attempt to condemn the entire movement.

Quote where he said absolutely every pro-life person wanted that. I suppose it never occurred to you that you were making a bullshit strawman as an excuse to copypasta your propaganda…?

Women have the right to body autonomy. Full stop.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I will just point out that back in the 1980’s, when I was still in the phase of my life where I hadn’t yet comprehended how damaging fundamentalism is to society, I was involved in a very minor way with a pro-life group. And all I wanted to point out is that the text you copied and pasted above is essentially the same text they used back in the 1980’s, probably word for word.

I still don’t like the whole idea of abortion, but I feel that as a man it’s not my place to tell women what they must do with their bodies. But also, it amazes me how much effort the pro-life types put into making certain children get born but then once they are born, they act like they couldn’t care less about them. Why don’t we have universal health insurance for all kids up through age 21, or even age 18, regardless of whether the parents have coverage? Why isn’t mandatory child care leave available? And of course the big one in light of recent news, why aren’t we seriously talking about repealing the second amendment?

Here’s an idea, let the pro-life forces come up with a repeal-and-replace plan for the seconds amendment. Instead of guaranteeing the right to own guns, let it make abortion illegal after the first trimester but only if and when universal health care and family support is available for that child. I won’t go into the specifics because it would stand zero chance of passing, but I would love to see the so-called “pro-life” forces take on the gun lobby with as much zeal as they have put into getting Roe vs. Wade repealed.

(OMG, I hope I haven’t given them any ideas for their next fundraising appeal!)

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I would love to see the so-called “pro-life” forces take on the gun lobby with as much zeal as they have put into getting Roe vs. Wade repealed.

Problem is, the pro-life people and the pro-gun people are the same people. The same people claim that nothing can justify “murdering an unborn child” and that also no number of murdered actual having-been-born children is worth giving up our guns for.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So your takeaway from my post was ZOMG NOT MY MORALS!

How many ‘pro-life’ people still support gun rights after seeing the photos of children murdered in schools?

How many ‘pro-life’ people still support forced birth after seeing how many children the foster system has just lost or allowed to be murdered?

How many ‘pro-life’ people still support bakers can’t be forced to make a gay cake, but they can insist on others following their morals even if they don’t share them?

How many ‘pro-life’ people still support hiding bombers and arsonists who murdered doctors & nurses who were providing care to women?

How many ‘pro-life’ people still support no forced masking or vaccinations because they have rights that they clearly don’t feel other people are entitled to have?

How many ‘pro-life’ people understand that a fucking dead body has more rights than a live woman under the law with what they are pushing for?

Because getting an abortion upset some women who had them is no basis to say no women can have one.
A baby can’t eat steak, outlaw red meat.

This is a religious crusade pretending it is not.
I can’t force you to make a gay cake, but you can force people to not have a medical procedure that has NOTHING to do with you.

Your ‘religious’ freedoms end at the tip of your nose, you don’t get to demand we all follow them, you don’t get to make them the law of the land, and this country has so many greater problems than abortion, but more time is wasted on that instead of oh I dunno holding congress responsible for fucking up the nation, the Southern Baptists hiding their sex fiends, the millions of children no one gives a shit about because they aren’t cute & white.

To quote one of the lawyers I actually have respect for…

Snort my taint.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

'I could have won but I left my oven on, so...'

Any ‘settlement’ by a government agency should require an admission of guilt by said agency, as while paying a bill with someone else’s money is trivial forcing them to admit that they screwed up and are paying the person to go away would at least prevent them from lying about how they were totally sure they’d win the case they just didn’t want to.

Add in the details this time around where they beat the ever loving hell out of someone for daring to almost treat them the same way they treated the public and then lied about it and the ‘We’re paying out but not admitting to any wrongdoing’ becomes all the more disgusting.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In the american civil legal system, the system is designed for monetary restitution. There is a rule, i forget which one, that stipulates if you receive a reasonable settlement offer and choose to take the case to trial you can face sanctions if you are awarded less than the settlement. As well, a trial is lengthy, expensive and would be on top of two years of civil litigation, plus the criminal defense, plus his medical bills. holding out for an admission of wrong doing is unlikely to be fiscally viable in this case. indeed in most cases. holding out for a trial to prove wrongdoing is not favored by the legal system. By design.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I get all that. It still doesn’t change that the settlements are routinely used to dodge responsibility – especially since the wrongdoers suffer no direct penalty.

To wit—

Did the police suffer personal financial loss? No, the taxpayers will pay.

Did the police have to get up in front of a courtroom full of people and – red-faced with embarrassment – admit that they did wrong? No, they thumbed their noses at the victim and felt vindicated.

Do the police have to change their policies so that they might not do this same thing again in the future? Let us consult the rules posted on every station wall:

  1. The police are always right.
  2. If you think the police are wrong see rule 1.

Perfected. What’s to revise?

David says:

That's what you get with the foxes guarding the cookie jar

The city will not admit guilt or take responsibility as part of the agreement with Stallings, which still has to be approved by the Minneapolis City Council.

It’s counterproductive that such “settlements” are fielded by the taxpayer in order to avoid accountability to the taxpayer.

I don’t really blame the plaintiff: it’s not his responsibility to police the police. But once the evidence is on public record, any conscientious state attorney should be taking the sitting duck from there rather than bury it. Except that it would be bad for their reelection campaign.

Well, voters and taxpayers are the same. Maybe the bill washes up at the right place after all.

How depressing.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:


Well that’s not working at all.
Billions of dollars have been paid out to people abused by cops and none of them lose jobs.

People are more terrified that the bad guys (read black) will run wild and attack all these poor good folk (read white) so they need this blue line to protect them, and since they aren’t randomly shooting white folk its not a real issue.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Upstream (profile) says:

Settling with OPM doesn't count

Paying settlements with Other People’s Money (OPM) really doesn’t cut it. The city is paying the victims with the victims money! And the thugs are laughing all the way back to the station house while reloading their 40s.

Unless and until the thugs start going to prison on a consistent basis for these kinds of violent assaults, and for all of other serious crimes they regularly commit, there will be no end to this violent, corrupt, third-world-style police state we live in.

P.S. Apparently the Subject line of the Comments doesn't handle apostrophes well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Once again, a free market could fix this with police officers, like most professions where financial ruin or death can result (doctors, lawyers, etc.), having to get liability insurance for their actions.

When they screw up so bad they can’t afford their insurance premiums, they no longer can work as police officers.

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restless94110 (profile) says:


So much in what you write: One, does every drug-addicted, overdosing, thug who resists arrest and then dies of the drugs he ingested need to be called a victim in your world? Two, how many of any race other than black walk around after curfew with a gun in their possession? Three, what part of obey the law and the cops didn’t this phony victim understand? Was it the don’t walk around a riot zone after curfew part? Or was it don’t fire at the only other men around in a riot zone cleared by an official curfew part?

Do black people need to obey the law at all? Should all cops let black people do whatever they want at all times? Because slavery?

When you crow like a hysterical, brain dead cockatoo about overdosing thugs being “murdered” or menacing weirdos walking around riot zones with guns after curfew calling them “victims” do you realize you are saying….: to the cops, don’t enforce the law when blacks are involved (black privilege); saying to blacks, you are all weak victims not responsible for your own actions, not for following any laws; not following the law will lead you to a 7 figure payday.

You realize the world you apparently prefer and promote? You are a promoter of black privilege, the only privilege in America today. Be careful of what you wish for.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:


The article discusses a specific incident with body camera footage that directly contravenes the police report and doesn’t cite the victims race. You are the only one who thinks race matters here, and your strawman attempt to turn reporting on one specific case with specific facts that are bad for the police into a referendum on an entire race suggests the racial bias might be on your part.

Anonymous Coward says:


No worries, there bud!

This is that 2nd amendment thing in action. It’s unfortunate that in a quest to make guns more accessible, you failed to account that, I dunno, maybe black people would get them too?

And when cops are heavy-handed with people who are also armed, it sure makes for a more interesting story, doesn’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Can we correct the headline to “Minneapolis Agrees to Pay in Principal $1.5 Million Settlement To Man Who Accidentally Returned Fire at Cops During George Floyd Protests”

Until the city council signs off and cuts a check nothing has really happened. And as noted unless the money comes out of the police budget there is no penalty for the people who caused the harm.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Fact George Floyd died of a fatal fentanyl overdose

What my headline said. Yet Techdirt still wants to write garbage articles justifying the George Soros-funded BLM (who stole the trademark from the Treyvon Martin family) that burned and extorted the nation out of billions of dollars. So, I guess by Techdirt virtue-signaling with this article somehow shows everyone that crime pays? Yeah, this article is another piece of garbage by Tim Cushing.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rocky says:


Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker ruled Floyd’s death a homicide and identified the cause as “cardiopulmonary arrest” that occurred during “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression”. Contributing factors where heart disease and use of fentanyl.

If the police had shot him and he later died because his life couldn’t be saved due to the contributing factors of heart disease and use of fentanyl the main cause of death would still be due to a police officer’s action.

TL;DR: George Floyd would still be alive today if not for the actions of the police.

Now, kindly fuck off.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'Police are surrounded by an aura of death' is a strange defense...

It’s amazing how many people just so happen to die of some completely unrelated cause just as police are beating the hell out of them and/or putting them in positions that would make a contortionist wince…

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