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Case Name Garcia v. Metro Gang Strike Force PN-MN-0004
Docket / Court 0:09-cv-01996-JNE-AJB ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On July 20, 2009, individuals who claimed to be victims of unlawful force and violence at the hands of the Metro Gang Strike Force filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Strike Force and other law enforcement agencies and police officers ... read more >
On July 20, 2009, individuals who claimed to be victims of unlawful force and violence at the hands of the Metro Gang Strike Force filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Strike Force and other law enforcement agencies and police officers in the Minneapolis area. The lawsuit was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and Minnesota state law. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief and punitive damages.

The plaintiffs were individuals who had allegedly been subjected to excessive force during raids conducted by the now-defunct Strike Force, a task force made up of police from the Twin Cities and surrounding communities to prevent gang activity. Many of the plaintiffs had property, including vehicles, cash, and televisions, confiscated by the Strike Force. Some of the plaintiffs were also physically injured by Strike Force officers during these raids. Allegedly, the Strike Force ransacked the plaintiffs’ homes and did not provide a receipt or inventory for the property that was taken. The plaintiffs stated that the Strike Force targeted undocumented individuals because the Strike Force knew these people were especially vulnerable.

Multiple status conferences in 2009 and 2010 were followed by a settlement; a judicially-enforced settlement agreement was eventually entered on November 4, 2010 and Judge Joan Ericksen signed off on the settlement on December 16, 2010. The defendants agreed to create a $3 million settlement fund to pay for approved claims, special master fees, law enforcement training and education, and other administrative costs. Additionally, the defendants paid plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and the settlement agreement outlined the procedure for plaintiffs to claim monetary relief, including getting approval from Judge Ericksen.

The Settlement also provided for training to be developed and implemented, with the participation of a plaintiffs' representative, covering civil rights; community based policing; constitutional use of drug-courier profiles by law enforcement agencies; courtroom testimony and procedure; forfeitures; investigative report writing; pretextual stops; property handling procedures; racial and ethnic sensitivity; and search and seizure.

In accordance with the settlement agreement, payments for attorneys’ fees were dispensed throughout 2011 and 2012. The special master awarded payouts to the victims from the settlement fund in 2012. The lawsuit and its settlement concluded on September 4, 2012 once Judge Ericksen authorized payment to all claimants that received awards.

Since the settlement concluded in September 2012, settlement funds have been continuously released in order to pay minor class members and cover their attorneys’ fees.

Amelia Huckins - 02/12/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Aggressive behavior
Excessive force
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Metro Gang Strike Force
Plaintiff Description Victims of excessive force and violence carried out by the Metro Gang Strike Force.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
0:09-cv-01996-JNE-AJB (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PN-MN-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/30/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Damages and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 2]
PN-MN-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/23/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 66-7]
PN-MN-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/04/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Order and Final Judgment [ECF# 77] (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/16/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Class Counsel's Attorneys' Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses [ECF# 78] (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/16/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 80] (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Corrected Order Determining Appeals from the Determinations of the Special Master [ECF# 471] (2012 WL 3839243) (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/04/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Boylan, Arthur J. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
PN-MN-0004-9001
Ericksen [Lancaster], Joan N. (D. Minn.)
PN-MN-0004-0002 | PN-MN-0004-0003 | PN-MN-0004-0005 | PN-MN-0004-0007 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Monitors/Masters Gehan, Mark (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alvarez, Alex [Alejandro] (Florida)
PN-MN-0004-0001 | PN-MN-0004-0004 | PN-MN-0004-0006 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Cialkowski, David M. (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-0001 | PN-MN-0004-0004 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Fishman, Phillip F. (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-0001 | PN-MN-0004-0004 | PN-MN-0004-0006 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Gordon Rudd Jr., J (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Hopper, Robert (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-0001 | PN-MN-0004-0004 | PN-MN-0004-0006 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Johnston, Jason (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Peterson, Elizabeth (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Schweich, Leonard (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Zimmerman, Charles S. (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-0001 | PN-MN-0004-0004 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Flynn, Joseph (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-0006 | PN-MN-0004-9001
Greene, William L. (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001
Momoh, Adine (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0004-9001

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