Minnesota Woman Sues for Police Misconduct

Posted in Police Misconduct at 11:20 am by kevin

Approximately 1 new personal injury lawsuit is filed every 2 seconds throughout the United States, and the third most common claims are assault-related. Based on statistics, there is a very high number of assault claims each year, and there were over 2 million of them in 2010 alone.

Personal injury cases arise when a person suffers harm that is inflicted by someone else. It can be resolved through informal settlement, but will become a full-blown legal dispute when it is formalized through civil court proceedings.

But what if the injury came from the very people whom you were supposed to trust with your life? Do you have a chance of winning against individuals whose job is to uphold the law, including personal protection?

Tamra Welbig filed a lawsuit against the Brookings Police Department, claiming that they allegedly slammed her to the pavement and then falsely charged her with felony. The federal lawsuit centers on false arrest, excessive force, violation of free speech and violation of civil rights.

In a federal complaint, it was stated that officers’ Jordan McCaskill, Jordan Hansen and another cop was sent to the plaintiff’s apartment to provide medical assistance. At that time, Welbig was in the passenger seat of a Dodge Durango. When one of the officers stepped into her apartment to perform a search, she pulled herself forward to the seat, while telling the police officers that they are not permitted to enter her apartment.

It was at this point, when officers’ McCaskill and Hansen pulled her out of the vehicle, secured her arms to the side, and then pushed her to the ground. She was allegedly pushed with such force that it “caused her face to bounce off the concrete”. Even if she wasn’t resisting, Officer Hansen allegedly placed his full body weight and knee on Welbig’s back to handcuff her.

The two officers then proceeded to drag Welbig to the ambulance, with her feet scraping the pavement and bleeding as a result.

Due to severe physical pain and injury to her face, Welbig was taken to Brookings Hospital where she received treatment for her injuries.

The lawsuit claims that detaining Ms Welbig was “excessive and much more extensive than reasonably necessary”. It also alleges that the felony charges against the plaintiff were all fabricated to cover up the officers’ actions. There were no witnesses interviewed, and the sworn testimony given by another officer contradicts police reports.

Following the incident, Welbig was charged with simple assault against law enforcement, which should have been the other way around, based on her complaint. The arrest happened in 2012. She was acquitted of the assault charge six months later.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages, although there is no dollar figure specified.

The Brookings Police Department denied all allegations, only responding to say that defendants “are protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity”, making them immune from the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff.

What are the odds that an individual can win against police officers? With the right personal injury lawyer, those odds can be in favor of Tamra Welbig.